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Kansas Teacher With Conservative Views Gets Job Back

A high school teacher in Kansas who claimed his contract was not renewed due to his conservative political views has been reinstated.

Tim Latham, 44, who was told that his school-affiliated Web site was "too patriotic," will return this fall to the 2,000-student Lawrence High School in Lawrence, Kan., where he'll continue teaching American history and government for a second consecutive year. Since the contract renewal became official late last week, Latham, a teaching veteran of 20 years, said he's received countless well-wishes from students and teachers alike.

"My cell phone just went off again," Latham told FOXNews.com on Tuesday. "I have received well over 1,000 e-mails, comments on my Facebook page, personal letters and phone calls, not only from all over the country, but from all over the world. I even had a guy who wrote me from China, saying he could see this happening in China, but not here."

Latham, who was criticized by a student for not airing President Obama's inaugural address during class, filed a grievance with his school district earlier this month after he was told in April that his contract would not be renewed.

The married father of three had claimed school officials violated his contract by not conducting proper reviews — four 20-minute in-class evaluations throughout the year — and said school administrators were looking for a way to get rid of him due to his personal politics.

But Latham was informed last Thursday by District Superintendent Randy Weseman that there were "inconsistencies in the evaluation process" and that his contract would be renewed for 2009-10. Latham said he was not surprised.

"I thought that if they followed the letter of the contract and if they looked at all the evidence, there was no other result that could happen," he said. "It had to happen."

Weseman confirmed to FOXNews.com that Latham will be back next year. He said administrators erred by not conducting enough in-class evaluations.

"To make a long story short, they didn't do what they were supposed to," Weseman said. "Obviously there are implications to procedures not being followed."

Latham conducted himself in a "respectful and dignified" manner throughout the process, Weseman said, adding that the "injustice" claimed by Latham had been confirmed.

During a meeting last September with Assistant Principal Jan Gentry, Latham claims Gentry mentioned his school-affiliated Web site, which she called "too patriotic." The site had links to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the Air Force, the U.S. Army and other military-and history-related sites.

He claimed the critiques took a personal turn in October, when class lessons began focusing on the presidential race between Obama and John McCain. One unidentified student has complained to Gentry that Latham had been too critical of Obama.

"I had been called into [Gentry's office] and was told I was picking on Obama in class," Latham said earlier this month. "But I didn't cover anything else that wasn't already covered by anybody else in the news."

Latham also said that Gentry asked him about a "McCain-Palin" bumper sticker on his car.

"She said, 'I don't know how you could support that woman,'" Latham said. "That was the beginning of what was going on. They were trying to find a reason to get rid of me."

Latham said a condition of his reinstatement would be that Gentry would not conduct his evaluations any longer, Weseman said. Gentry could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Chloe Mercer, who graduated Lawrence High School last month, said Latham's class was her favorite and said he was fair despite his decision not to show Obama's inauguration in class.

"He chose not to show it, but he printed out Obama's speech and we read it and discussed what we felt was good about it," Mercer told FOXNews.com earlier this month. "[Latham] was fair. He listened to all sides of every issue. He actually made print-outs of every candidate and how they felt on certain hot-button issues."