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Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Thursday, August 11, 2022

An Escambia County public school teacher resigned this week over what he characterized as racist behavior by a school district employee. The teacher, Michael James, emailed a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis and Escambia County Superintendent Tim Smith in which he wrote that a district employee removed pictures of historic Black American heroes from his classroom walls, citing the images as being "age inappropriate."

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Images that were removed from the bulletin board at O.J. Semmes Elementary School included depictions of Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, Colin Powell and George Washington Carver, James said.

"It really floored me," James told the News Journal. "I've been teaching special education for 15 years, and it just really floored me when she did that."

James chose the board's theme because the majority of the students and the residents in the neighborhoods that surround O.J. Semmes are Black, and he wanted to motivate his students with inspirational leaders they could easily look up to and see themselves.

Charlie Crist, who is running for the Democratic nomination for governor to challenge DeSantis in November, blamed the governor's "culture wars" for politicizing Florida's public schools.

"This is the sad reality of Ron DeSantis' 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 Crist in a statement by his campaign.

"DeSantis' culture wars are infiltrating every corner of our state, and it's Florida's students who are paying the price."

Of course it's "age inappropriate" for school children to be exposed to a photo of the 44th President of the United States. What in the world was this teacher thinking while working in the Peoples' Republic of Florida?

#1 | Posted by tonyroma at 2022-08-11 01:22 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Now take down pictures of all the Cuban "heroes".

#2 | Posted by LegallyYourDead at 2022-08-11 01:45 PM | Reply

How fnkcin' pathetic.

Republicans showing their true colors. The era of colorblindness is coming to an end, only not in the way most of us had hoped.

Scary times. But at least Republicans are finally being honest with themselves and everyone else.

#3 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2022-08-11 01:56 PM | Reply

Not just racist, but separate and unequal?

His lack of institutional knowledge at his new job and what he characterized as the "rundown" state of the O. J. Semmes Elementary School building compelled James to go straight to the top with his complaints.

James said the school is in poor shape and he believes that it is treated as a lower priority because many of the students are Black children from low-income families.

"I feel like sometimes they are taken advantage of and no one is speaking for them, and that school - there is no way with the Florida lottery - that it should look like that. I'm wondering what kind of equitable division of money is being done for that school compared to other schools in other wealthier areas of Pensacola or Escambia County," he said.

The likely answer to his query: There isn't an equitable division of money directed to this school. The parents of these children probably don't reliably vote for Republicans, so eff 'em.

#4 | Posted by tonyroma at 2022-08-11 02:00 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Good God, people.

Read the linked article.

#5 | Posted by BellRinger at 2022-08-11 02:05 PM | Reply

"Of course it's "age inappropriate" for school children to be exposed to a photo of the 44th President of the United States. What in the world was this teacher thinking while working in the Peoples' Republic of Florida?"

Because an observant child will ask the obvious follow up when they realize what makes Obama different from the rest and why that is.

White folks can't let their kids know what POS their families and ancestors often were.

#6 | Posted by Hagbard_Celine at 2022-08-11 02:08 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 4

"Good God, people. Read the linked article."

I did. Before and after I first posted. What's your point?

#7 | Posted by Hagbard_Celine at 2022-08-11 02:09 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#5 | POSTED BY BELLRINGER

The irony is rife coming from the willfully ignorant.

#8 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2022-08-11 02:10 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Read the linked article.

I posted the damn article, so don't tell anyone to do what you haven't. The article points out that a school district employee - on their own - felt empowered to remove benign historically relevant photos from a classroom using the identical language and rationale espoused by the Governor who declares anything that might make white people feel bad about themselves as "woke." And he's made it clear that "woke" has no place in his Florida. And that is exactly why the employee acted as they did.

And the greatest example proving this true is the fact that you cannot find another single incident of anything like this happening in Florida schools prior to DeSantis' jihad against diversity and historical accuracy being taught in Florida's classrooms.

#9 | Posted by tonyroma at 2022-08-11 02:11 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

If the district wants the pictures back then put them back.

If not then STFU and take this ----.

#10 | Posted by eberly at 2022-08-11 02:17 PM | Reply

"If not then STFU and take this ----."

Is this another one of those cases where you've decided that nobody really cares and they are only commenting because politics?

It must be nice living in a world where you don't have to suffer the consequences of the actions of people you defend.

#11 | Posted by Hagbard_Celine at 2022-08-11 02:25 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

11

are you okay?

I'm saying that if the school district wants the pictures back then put them back or take the justified criticism for allowing this to happen.

WTF are you talking about?

#12 | Posted by eberly at 2022-08-11 02:27 PM | Reply

Your STFU was not clearly directed to the school district. That's WTF I was talking about.

#13 | Posted by Hagbard_Celine at 2022-08-11 02:30 PM | Reply

okay...so you're wrong a ---- but it's my fault.

and you lecture me about living in a world where you don't have to suffer consequences.

clearly, you actually do live in such a world.

tell us about it.

#14 | Posted by eberly at 2022-08-11 02:32 PM | Reply

Louisiana child kicked out of class because parents are same-sex couple
www.theguardian.com

The girl lost her birth mother a while back and more recently lost her birth father to an accident at work. She was then adopted by a gay couple, one of whom she is a niece, but the religious-based school decided her continued presence at the school would not be appropriate because of circumstances God bestowed upon her. She had been enrolled at the school while her birth parents were alive (you know, thousands of dollars in tuition) only to be abandoned by the most significant community she was apart of.

Republican led education is going off the deep end.

#15 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2022-08-11 02:36 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#14 | POSTED BY EBERLY

Who pissed in your coffee cup this morning?

JFC

WTF

#16 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2022-08-11 02:36 PM | Reply

"okay...so you're wrong a ---- but it's my fault."

No I wasn't. You first post didn't mean what you thought it means. Then you clarified. You really need to calm down. Maybe a bubble bath is overdue.

#17 | Posted by Hagbard_Celine at 2022-08-11 02:39 PM | Reply

-No I wasn't.

you were 100% wrong.

If it wasn't clear, you could have asked. I wasn't addressing anybody in my post.

Did I reference anyone besides the school district?

Then who else could I have been referring to when I said STFU??

Obviously, the school district.

you were 100% wrong.

#18 | Posted by eberly at 2022-08-11 02:42 PM | Reply

I took the original statement Eberly made exactly as Hagbard did. The clarification flipped the meaning 180 for me.

#19 | Posted by YAV at 2022-08-11 02:42 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Then who else could I have been referring to when I said STFU??

How about everyone that was complaining about the removal, Eberly, including everyone that was making comments on how bad this was?

#20 | Posted by YAV at 2022-08-11 02:43 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

I'm wondering if you guys were graduates of the Escambia County school district.

LOL......okay, I'm done with it.

#21 | Posted by eberly at 2022-08-11 02:44 PM | Reply

so you're just going to to continue to defend your lack of reading comprehension and manners?

you were 100% wrong.

#22 | Posted by eberly at 2022-08-11 02:46 PM | Reply

"How about everyone that was complaining about the removal, Eberly, including everyone that was making comments on how bad this was?"

This is the kind of thing that happens when people fire off comments without a proofreader. It happens to all of us. Sir Eberly is being quite hysterical about it though. Maybe he'll feel better after he comes back from lunch.

#23 | Posted by Hagbard_Celine at 2022-08-11 02:46 PM | Reply

It must be nice living in a world where you don't have to suffer the consequences of the actions of people you defend.

#11 | POSTED BY HAGBARD_CELINE AT 2022-08-11 02:25 PM | REPLY | FLAG; quite hysterical

#24 | Posted by eberly at 2022-08-11 02:49 PM | Reply

Jeffjbelberly is desperately trying to make this thread all about himself(s) because this thread displays the toxic environment "conservatism" has created in Florida

#25 | Posted by ChiefTutMoses at 2022-08-11 02:58 PM | Reply

Isn't this an extension of the, "Don't make white folks feel uncomfortable about racism in America" law passed by DeSantis?

Mission Accomplished.

#26 | Posted by ClownShack at 2022-08-11 03:00 PM | Reply

"I posted the damn article, so don't tell anyone to do what you haven't."

I read it twice, -------.

You are doing a ---- ton of extrapolating based on the apparent action of one employee based upon the allegation of one other employee who clearly has an axe to grind - resigning immediately based on a single allegation of some employee who isn't even named and before anyone has an opportunity to dig into what actually happened. Stop your reflexive race baiting. It's gross.

#27 | Posted by BellRinger at 2022-08-11 04:03 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

^
Says the dweeb who insisted Obama wasn't an American, was going to nationalize all immigrants, invade Texas, and enslave "conservatives "

#28 | Posted by ChiefTutMoses at 2022-08-11 04:23 PM | Reply

DeSantis signs a bill into law discriminating against black history.

Pictures of MLK, Obama, Harriet Tubman, Colin Powell and George Washington Carver where taken down from a classroom.

BellyAche supports such actions and attacks the teacher for his "overreaction".

BellyAche was completely against and appalled by statues of confederate generals being removed from public spaces and government buildings.

Racism is alive and flourishing in the Grand Old Party of Racists.

#29 | Posted by ClownShack at 2022-08-11 04:38 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

#29 - Solid summary.

#30 | Posted by YAV at 2022-08-11 07:14 PM | Reply

"Above the pictures of the Black leaders, a copy of the Pledge of Allegiance was pasted in the bulletin board's upper right hand corner, James said."

"Am I to believe Escambia County Schools employs those that dislike African Americans and are against swearing allegiance to these United States of America? Is there a dislike in anything that states 'One Nation Under God' in it?" James wrote, in his letter to the governor and superintendent."

Sounds like someone here on the D.R.

#31 | Posted by YAV at 2022-08-11 07:26 PM | Reply

"Don't Say Black."

#32 | Posted by snoofy at 2022-08-11 07:44 PM | Reply

When he asked what she was doing, "She said something along the lines of it wasn't age-appropriate," James told the publication. She also picked up the portrait he had of Barack Obama, the nation's first Black president, on his desk and allegedly said, "You don't need to put this up either. The kids are too young."

He teaches kids in kindergarten through fifth grade.

"I don't know who guided her or why she took that on her own. I've never seen that in 15 years " just completely take down my board " without asking or anything," he said.

James worried that if he reported what had happened to his school's principal, the administrator would simply "sweep things under the rug." So instead, he wrote a letter describing the incident to DeSantis and Escambia County Superintendent Tim Smith.

"Am I to believe Escambia County Schools employs those that dislike African Americans?" James wrote in his letter, adding that he couldn't "work for a school, or under the umbrella of a school district, that would hire people who would condone such behavior."

In a statement issued Tuesday, Escambia County Public Schools spokesperson Cody Strother wrote that the district is conducting a full investigation. "If these allegations are deemed factual, we will certainly take corrective action, as it is our aim that all of our teachers feel valued and supported," Strother wrote.
www.lgbtqnation.com

Yup. Total inappropriate and over reaction on the teacher's part. /s

#33 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2022-08-11 08:40 PM | Reply

Hate racists...

Just get old and die already!
You wasting oxygen meant for
nicer people.

#34 | Posted by earthmuse at 2022-08-12 12:10 AM | Reply

What he should have done was put up the exact same pictures the next day when he came in. If she tried to remove them again he should have said "I think we need to take this up with the school board, but for right now you can get the **** out of my classroom." With a big smile of course, wouldn't want her to get the vapors.

#35 | Posted by rukiddin at 2022-08-12 08:15 AM | Reply

In case anyone is interested in the other side of the story

www.pnj.com

#36 | Posted by Miranda7 at 2022-08-12 09:16 AM | Reply

Thanks, but that sure didn't help make the two actors that removed the pictures any less disgusting. All it did was confirm what James said, just tried to wrap it all up in a pretty package of "we did it for the kids and because the State of Florida doesn't allow that kind of thing behind you!"

Seriously? Anyone believing that nonsense?

#37 | Posted by YAV at 2022-08-12 09:24 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"the other side of the story?"

How about ass-covering lies.

James reiterated the behavior analysist and behavior coach never once referred to state standards as the reason behind the removal of the posters depicting famous Black Americans.

"There was never any mention of dedicating the bulletin board to state standards. Not one word even similar to this was mentioned," James wrote. "The bulletin board I prepared was fully inline with state standards for this population and it's pure diversion to state otherwise."

He said each of the posters had a picture of a famous person and an accompanying written description of the person depicted in the imagine, and James took umbrage with the district's statement that the "language and reading levels on the posters were too complex."

"The content on these famous Black men and women was going to be read and discussed, so I knew some couldn't read it," James wrote to the News Journal. "With that said, Autistic children are some of the most intelligent and talented children I've worked with over these past 15 years. They are often more academically advanced than general Ed students.

"Yes some in my class could read the statements under the pictures and at the very least taught to read it," he continued. "That is what teachers do."

Other side my ass Miranda. Guess you only read what you wanted to, eh?

#38 | Posted by tonyroma at 2022-08-12 09:30 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

37

We have a classic he said/she said on the exchange between the teacher and the 2 others in the classroom.

Although it reminds me where public schools spend so much money.........look at this scenario right here.

3 employees in the room. 1 who teaches and 2 who do not....but they think they "help".

LOL

#39 | Posted by eberly at 2022-08-12 09:30 AM | Reply

-All it did was confirm what James said,

It appears to directly refute what James said.

I don't need to believe anything and I'm in no position to call anybody a liar here.

But I'm probably alone in that.

The rest of you already know who is lying and who isn't.

#40 | Posted by eberly at 2022-08-12 09:32 AM | Reply

Florida has 10,000 open teacher positions in the state because of bullcrap policies like this.

The GQP wants the population as stupid as can be so their policies make sense.

#41 | Posted by Nixon at 2022-08-12 10:43 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

It appears to directly refute what James said.

What James said in the original reporting is confirmed by what the other reporting states, but with the two perps wrapping it up in pretty paper and ribbons. Where they differ is over them saying they told James "X" and James originally reporting of what they said. James original reporting was abbreviated, but isn't disputed.

Now if you want to lay it all out and diagram all the sentences to prove some point which doesn't make any difference, please feel free to go through all that effort. I won't be reading that response, however.

#42 | Posted by YAV at 2022-08-12 12:43 PM | Reply

Np. Some retired E7 DI's wife with a HS diploma will replace him.

What could possibly go wrong?

#43 | Posted by fresno500 at 2022-08-12 03:12 PM | Reply

Other side my ass Miranda. Guess you only read what you wanted to, eh?

#38 | Posted by tonyroma at 2022-08-12 09:30 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

No need to be a ----- tony, there are always two sides to the story. That's the other party giving their side. I didn't weigh in with my opinion.

#44 | Posted by Miranda7 at 2022-08-12 07:02 PM | Reply

"And the greatest example proving this true is the fact that you cannot find another single incident of anything like this happening in Florida schools prior to DeSantis' jihad against diversity and historical accuracy being taught in Florida's classrooms."

Diversity?

Where there any non-black "heroes" hanging on the wall?

And as for historical accuracy...that's not something that will ever come up in this day and age, as it would force a level of retrospect that few people who care about race relations are ready to accept.

#45 | Posted by madbomber at 2022-08-13 04:09 PM | Reply

"Where there any non-black "heroes" hanging on the wall?"

Congratulations, you're the guy who ----- on breast cancer awareness month by saying what about all the other cancers.

#46 | Posted by snoofy at 2022-08-13 04:14 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Florida has 10,000 open teacher positions in the state because of bullcrap policies like this.
The GQP wants the population as stupid as can be so their policies make sense.
#41 | POSTED BY NIXON

Conservatives have been trying to drown public education in the bathtub ever since Brown vs. Board of Education. (And since Title IX.)

#47 | Posted by snoofy at 2022-08-13 04:16 PM | Reply

From Miranda7's link:

"The Behavior Analyst observed his bulletin board was 'Awesome,' because of the history tied to it, but the language and reading levels on the posters were too complex for this particular group of students," the statement said."

It's just like Nixon said. Florida really does want to keep them dumb. Don't ever present material which can challenge their boundaries.

#48 | Posted by snoofy at 2022-08-13 04:20 PM | Reply

Where there any non-black "heroes" hanging on the wall?
#45 | POSTED BY MADBOMBER

"All Lives Matter!"
-SadBoomer

#49 | Posted by ClownShack at 2022-08-13 04:26 PM | Reply

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