Florida teacher quits after co-worker removes posters of Black heroes: report

Orlando Sentinel | By Garfield Hylton | August 11, 2022

A Florida teacher quit his job after a co-worker removed pictures of Black heroes from his bulletin board.

Michael James was so upset he emailed Escambia County Superintendent Tim Smith and Gov. Ron DeSantis, the Pensacola News Journal reported. James, formerly a teacher at O.J. Semmes Elementary in Pensacola, said he’d taught special education for 15 years and was “floored” when the teacher rearranged his bulletin board.

James used to teach at O.J. Semmes. Both the school population and surrounding neighborhood are predominantly Black. James said he wanted to use Black heroes like Martin Luther King, Jr., former President Barack Obama, and Harriett Tubman to “motivate” his students, he told the News Journal.

Teachers are allowed to decorate their classrooms with educational materials. James said he was cutting something at a student desk when a teacher, who hasn’t been named, took things off the board, stating they weren’t “age-appropriate,” he told the News Journal.

He said the person didn’t mention race but picked up a photo of former President Obama and said, “you don’t need to put this up, either.”

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