BALTIMORE (AP) — The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra has fired its principal flutist, months after distancing itself from her social media posts that questioned the safety of the coronavirus vaccines, the efficacy of face masks and the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
The orchestra offered only the broadest outline of their decision to dismiss Emily Skala, but their statement suggests there were multiple violations of multiple policies. Leaked workplace emails from Skala also had come under scrutiny.
BSO President and CEO Peter Kjome said the musician was fired under the progressive discipline policy agreed to with the Musicians’ Association of Metropolitan Baltimore.
“Ms. Skala has had discipline imposed upon her over these past few months for violating several policies; unfortunately, she has repeated the conduct for which she had been previously disciplined, and dismissal was the necessary and appropriate reaction to this behavior,” the BSO statement said.
The firing comes roughly six months after the orchestra publicly rebuked her for controversial social media posts. She’d been suspended from work duties and was notified by phone Tuesday that she had lost her job. The 33-year-veteran of Baltimore’s symphony has consulted with lawyers and is exploring her options.
When asked about her social media posts spreading misinformation about the safety of the coronavirus vaccine, she said: “I did all of this basically because I wanted to protect the orchestras of the country. I wanted as few people, as few musicians, to be lost.”
In a Wednesday phone interview with The Associated Press, she also suggested work relationships between her and “younger members” of the BSO had worsened over the last year. She asserted that younger colleagues had spread “false allegations” against her and expressed being uncomfortable being on stage with her. She believes the BSO should have rebuked them.
“They (the BSO) cowered in the face of strong emotional reactions and they enabled the emotional reactions to dominate the workplace,” she said
One incident that she believes led to her dismissal occurred July 23, when she went to Meyerhoff Symphony Hall to hand in a tax form. She declined to wear mask and had not had a COVID-19 test as is required by BSO. She attempted to open the door to hand her form to a security guard. Skala said symphony officials interpreted this as violating the terms of the suspension barring her from the building.
She asserted that the BSO violated her constitutional rights, including freedom of speech, and “committed several crimes against me.”
Gautam Hans, a technology law and free speech expert at Vanderbilt University, said a quick review of the basic facts suggest that the BSO flutist likely had a record of noncompliance with company practices. He said the First Amendment generally applies to the government, not private entities, and businesses have a great amount of leeway in their decisions.
“Of course, there might be an issue about whether, as she claims, that record was scant or manufactured. But that’s much more of a employment law question than a free speech one. I think employers have to be very careful about whether and how they police employees’ speech, particularly outside of work. But it’s not strictly a First Amendment question,” Hans said in an email.
In February, symphony officials issued a statement saying they did not “condone or support” the views expressed in Skala’s social media posts and added that her statements did not “reflect our core values or code of conduct grounded in humanity and respect.”
Skala’s firing was applauded by Melissa Wimbish, an opera and contemporary singer who publicly posted leaked emails that Skala had written to BSO players after an online meeting last year.
Critics said the content of Skala’s emails were racist and antisemitic, which she denies.
Among other things, Skala wrote that BSO should not publicly support the Black Lives Matter movement because it would be excessively “political,” adding that she thought it was a conspiracy led by top Democrats and supported by billionaire philanthropist George Soros.
“This behavior is especially harmful to our community, not to mention visiting artists, patrons, and students. As a Black woman who was hired by the BSO many times, it was painful to see the lack of action and care in addressing this matter. It opened my eyes to a side of the organization I didn’t know existed,” she told AP.
Wimbish, who is not a BSO member, said the symphony’s decision to fire Skala is a good first step in making it a “more equitable place” for Baltimore, a majority-Black city.
David Mcfadden, The Associated Press
The Barn Find Hunter Finds a Home on REV TV!
Burlington, ON (August 10, 2022) — REV TV, YOUR MOTORSPORTS & AUTOMOTIVE DESTINATION 24/7, is excited to join the hunt for buried automotive treasure with the addition of Barn Find Hunter to its programming lineup.
Barn Find Hunter, which is produced by Hagerty Media, follows host Tom Cotter—who literally wrote the book(s) on barn finds—as he searches through dusty barns, cluttered garages and rusty scrap yards for automotive gold.
“REV TV viewers are the type of folks to pass a barn on a backroad and wonder if a Hemi is gathering dust inside,” said Mike Garrow, CEO of REV TV. “Barn Find Hunter, therefore, is the perfect fit for our channel and a great extension and expansion of our relationship with our wonderful partner Hagerty.”
“There’s nothing like the Barn Find Hunter audience so it’s a thrill to welcome the REV TV audience,” said Barn Find Hunter host Tom Cotter. “I’ve been doing this most my life and I love how the show demonstrates to viewers that these great cars are still out there – you just need to look in the right place!”
Barn Find Hunter will make its debut on Saturday, August 13th at 10AM ET.
About Hagerty, Inc. (NYSE: HGTY)
Based in Traverse City, Michigan, Hagerty’s purpose is to save driving and car culture for future generations and its mission is to build a global business to fund that purpose. Hagerty is an automotive enthusiast brand offering integrated membership products and programs as well as a specialty insurance provider focused on the global automotive enthusiast market. Hagerty is home to Hagerty Drivers Club, Hagerty DriveShare, Hagerty Valuation Tools, Hagerty Media, Hagerty Drivers Club magazine, MotorsportReg, Hagerty Garage + Social, The Amelia, Detroit Concours d’Elegance, Greenwich Concours d’Elegance, California Mille, Motorlux, Hagerty Drivers Foundation and more.
About REV TV
YOUR MOTORSPORTS & AUTOMOTIVE DESTINATION is available to over 6 million households across Canada and features over 200 races from around the world and right here at home. From two-wheels to four and so much more. REV TV showcases all forms of high-octane racing, such as MotoGP, Monster Jam, AMA Supercross, World Rally Championship, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Indy Lights, World Endurance Championship, World RX Championship, IndyCar Classics, SPEED SPORT TV, along with news coverage such as The Inside Line (F1), Winged Nation (winged sprint cars) and Tuning 365 Performance Auto & Sound Magazine. We also have a slate of original programming with REV Culture with Todd Lewis that features interviews with motorsports luminaries, All North Racing which focuses on grassroots racing, a slew of how-to and behind-the-scenes programs, and so much more. REV TV is your MOTORSPORTS & AUTOMOTIVE DESTINATION 24/7.
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Timmins news: Teen charged with social media threats | CTV News – CTV News Northern Ontario
Timmins police have been busy with young offenders this week with the latest involving a teen boy getting charged for threatening another teen using social media.
A 15-year-old male is accused of threatening a 14-year-old female online and attempting to “entice and enlist others to cause bodily harm” to her, police said in a news release Thursday morning.
Officers responded to a complaint Wednesday evening and were able to identify, locate and arrest the boy at his home the same night.
He has been charged with two counts each of uttering threats and failing to comply with a release order and one count of conspiracy to commit an offence.
The accused was held in custody overnight and is scheduled to appear at a bail hearing Thursday.
This comes after two other violent incidents involving young suspects in the last week.
“It’s a definite worrisome trend,” Marc Depatie, a Timmins police spokesperson, told CTV News in an email.
Five teens, ranging from 12 to 15 years of age, were charged after a 14-year-old female was allegedly swarmed, beaten and robbed on Aug. 5.
A 12-year-old female has been charged with assaulting another girl her age Tuesday evening at a Park Avenue schoolyard.
Both victims were injured in the attacks.
None of the allegations has been proven in court.
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