PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. – A Florida high school teacher chose to honor Colin Kaepernick for Black History Month— but was forced to remove her tribute just days later after complaints, WINK News reported.
Jaidyn Etheart, a student at Port Charlotte High School in Port Charlotte, Fla., shared footage of math teacher Alissa Perry regretfully removing her door decoration. It featured the highly controversial athlete and activist taking a knee in his old San Francisco 49ers uniform.
Kaepernick remains unsigned to an NFL team following uproar over him protesting his perspective of police brutality against people of color during the national anthem. His status as a shunned free agent has been a hotly contested debate during the past few years.
once again, racism being justified . one of the teachers at our school put up a Colin Kaepernick door peice FOR black history month, and the school claimed it was “offensive” and she was forced to take it down. pic.twitter.com/nX7XhpV0wE
— Jaidyn Etheart (@jaidyn_e) February 27, 2019
Etheart told WINK News that she blames other students who allegedly called the poster “offensive.” Another student tweeted that a “white teacher” was behind its removal.
they ACTUALLY took it down bc a teacher complained and they validated the white teacher’s concerns over the black teacher’s efforts but that’s what they won’t tell you https://t.co/6nugOUDEVk
— mel (@melissaaleonn) February 28, 2019
Yet the peer-teacher was not the only person taking offense. School district officials told the news agency that parents were flooding their office to object to the Kaepernick tribute.
“We were getting parents complaining and everybody, and we just thought we have to put an end to this,” said Mike Riley, Charlotte County School District spokesperson. “It was a lose, lose situation for us.”
“Our schools are a microcosm of our society,” Riley added. “If we left it up, it would have been the same thing from one side, and if we took it down, it would be another.”
Kaepernick has been a lightning rod of controversy within the law enforcement community, not just for kneeling during the national anthem, but attacking the overarching goals of police officers serving their communities.
The activitst-quarterback’s Twitter account posted a message in 2017 showing a badge with the title, “Runaway Slave Patrol” alongside a newer police shield. At the top of the tweet it reads, “YOU CAN’T IGNORE YOUR HISTORY.”
“A system that perpetually condones the killing of people, without consequences, doesn’t need to be revised,” Kaepernick tweeted, “it needs to be dismantled.”
A system that perpetually condones the killing of people, without consequence, doesn't need to be revised, it needs to be dismantled! pic.twitter.com/BVVPVZIQyD
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) June 16, 2017
Etheart told WINK News that she disagreed with the school’s decision.
“They [school district] cracked under pressure,” the junior said. “I don’t think that a few people’s opinion should be able to take away something that meant a lot to a lot of people.”
The incident is getting national attention, with Kaepernick himself retweeting Etheart’s video. Many commenters voiced their outrage.
Some Port Charlotte residents believe the school district did the right thing by making the teacher remove the poster.
“If you can’t respect the flag and our country, and you want to make political statements out of things, do it on your own time,” said Rich Malpedo, Port Charlotte resident.
Others believe that this was an acceptable way to celebrate Black History Month.
“If they were honestly celebrating his cause for Black History Month, it should have stayed up for the whole month,” said Aubri Jernigan, Port Charlotte resident.
It’s the second time Kaepernick has been notably snubbed for Black History Month this year. GOP lawmakers in Wisconsin demanded that his name be removed from a resolution honoring Black History Month, which critics called a “slap in the face.”
What are your thoughts?