A Florida teacher was briefly suspended and then transferred to another school after he allegedly told black students that President-elect Donald Trump would deport them.
The Tampa Bay Times reported that students said that John Sousa, a teacher and golf coach at Wesley Chapel High School, threatened to deport them “back to Africa” the day after the election.
According the WFTS, Sousa confirmed to the school board that he confronted a group of black students who were in the hallway.
“Where are you supposed to be?” Sousa admitted asking. “Donald Trump will deport you.”
At a Pasco County School Board meeting last week, Superintendent Kurt Browning insisted that the remarks were not a firing offense.
“You’ve heard me say I’m a supporter of second chances,” Browning explained. “That behavior is not condoned by this district. But there is a place for him.”
Linda Cobbe, a spokesperson for Pasco County Schools, told WFTS that Sousa “thought he was being funny.”
“Like I said, the people in the room realized that he realizes what he did wrong,” she remarked. “They felt like the punishment was enough to teach him a lesson and that he knows, if it happened again, that he’s out of a job.”
The school board voted at its Dec. 6 meeting to suspend Sousa for three days without pay. He will also be transferred to Mitchell High School, where he is expected to teach children with autism.
For his part, Sousa told The Tampa Bay Times that he did not vote for Trump and that he’s “not a racist.”
“This is what’s wrong with America. People make accusations about people without really knowing them,” Sousa lamented. “I love doing the job that I do… It’s all in God’s hands.”
Watch the video report below from WFTS, broadcast Dec. 14, 2016.