Michael James resigned from O.J. Semmes Elementary School after a staffer allegedly removed images of Black heroes from his classroom.
We all know the Republican war on critical race theory is and has always been a sham. Conservatives haven’t demonstrated that they have a clue what the academic study that has existed in academia since the late ’90s even entails, and they basically turned it into an umbrella term for all things race-related that make white people uncomfortable. It has created an educational environment where anything related to Black history could be considered CRT and one where all white parents have to do is complain that they’re offended by what they perceive to be anti-whiteness and conservative school boards and public officials will back them blindly.
It also created the type of environment that caused a Florida public school teacher to quit after a staffer allegedly removed pictures of Black American historical figures from his classroom calling the images “age-inappropriate.”
According to the Pensacola News-Journal, Michael James, a now-former teacher at O.J. Semmes Elementary School in Escambia County, emailed a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis and Escambia County Superintendent Tim Smith to report that posters of Martin Luther King Jr., Harriett Tubman, Colin Powell, and George Washington Carver were removed from his classroom because someone decided that the very existence of photos of Black people were inappropriate for children—even though the majority of the students at the school are Black (not that it should even matter what race the students are).
“It really floored me,” James, who is white, told the News-Journal. “I’ve been teaching special education for 15 years, and it just really floored me when she did that.”
Smith reportedly responded to James’ email calling the removal of the posters an “anomaly” and promising a full investigation of the incident.
Yeah—I’m calling bulls*** in the “anomaly” claim. The truth is, this kind of thing is exactly what is to be expected in a state like Florida where its governor has been dedicated to spreading anti-CRT propaganda and prioritizing white comfort.
“This is the sad reality of Ron DeSantis’s Florida—a teacher, in a predominantly Black community, comes into their classroom to see posters of historically Black American heroes, including President Obama, taken down for being ‘inappropriate,’” said U.S. Congressman Charlie Crist (D-St. Petersburg), who is running for governor against DeSantis in November. “DeSantis’s culture wars are infiltrating every corner of our state, and it’s Florida’s students who are paying the price.”