On Thursday, the Pensacola News Journal reported that that a public school teacher in Escambia County, Florida resigned after a school employee removed his classroom photos of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. and abolitionist Harriett Tubman.
"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,'" reported Colin Warren-Hicks. "Images that were removed from the bulletin board at O.J. Semmes Elementary School included depictions of Martin Luther King Jr., Harriett Tubman, Colin Powell and George Washington Carver, James said."
"It really floored me," said James. "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," said the report. "James, 61, of Daphne, Alabama, sent his letter to the governor Monday night. He officially resigned from his position as an exceptional student education teacher at O.J. Semmes Elementary School on Tuesday morning."
Florida is currently facing a statewide shortage of teachers. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has sought to alleviate the problem with a new program that lets military veterans be certified without the usual degree requirements, a move that is controversial with school officials.
This also comes as Republicans in Florida and around the country have passed laws designed to increasingly censor the topics that can be discussed in class, including the infamous "Don't Say Gay" law.
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