Protesters call for Duval County Public Schools teachers accused of making racist comments to be fired

This is not the first time this week people have come together accusing DCPS teachers of making racist comments and calling for accountability.

First Coast News | By Renata Di Gregorio | May 19, 2022

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Protesters gathered outside the Duval County Public School administration office Thursday morning, calling for accountability. They claim the school system has not done enough to remove teachers accused of making racist comments.

This is not the first time this week people have come together accusing a DCPS teacher of making racist comments, but this time protesters want the message to be ‘bigger picture,’ saying this isn’t just one teacher at one school.

“If teachers cannot keep their racial biases or racism in check, they need to resign or retire,” said Pastor Kimberly Pullings of Live Church.

“There’s a history, there’s a repetition of him being ignorant to our students, and it needs to stop,” said Diamond Wallace with Jewels of the Future.

These two protesters, who were two of about 10 present on Thursday, are not talking about the same Duval Schools teacher. Their accusations span from Riverside High School to Mandarin Middle School.

“About a month ago it started with some racial slurs toward my son at Mandarin Middle,” said Aylise Beechem.

Beechem is the mother of a Mandarin Middle School student who plans to sue DCPS, alleging a teacher called her son the N word.

“I don’t feel like you should be teaching no child,” Beechem said.

“We have 18-year-olds walking into supermarkets and mass murdering people as just happened in Buffalo,” said Pullings about the 10 Black people killed in a Black Buffalo neighborhood this weekend. “So if that’s the case why are we allowing any type of racism here? How do you justify that?”

First Coast News questioned DCPS. They responded with the following statement:

“As a matter of policy and practice, Duval County Public Schools works to protect students from any form of racial discrimination or harassment. We also strive to uphold the highest standards of conduct for our employees.

Our office of professional standards is investigating the allegations. While the presumption of innocence applies, if the allegations are confirmed and supported through the investigation, appropriate action is taken in accordance with district progressive discipline policies and the collective bargaining agreement.”

Protesters say they want more accountability and are calling for the teachers to be removed.

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