Teacher put on leave following controversial message about Confederate flag

Published: Oct. 2, 2019 at 11:49 PM EDT
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Wednesday, October 2, 2019

News 12 at 11 o'clock

HEPHZIBAH, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- A Hephzibah High School teacher was placed on paid administrative leave after sharing a controversial message with the Confederate flag Monday.

Melissa Fuller's daughter is a student at Hephzibah High School. She said her daughter's teacher put a picture of a Confederate flag on the board with text reading, "A sticker you put on the back of your pickup truck to announce that you intend to marry your sister. Think of it like a white trash 'Save the Date' card."

"She found it offensive, so she sent it to me and asked me what I thought," said Fuller.

She posted it to Facebook, which brought in more than 150 comments from fellow parents and community members. She said a lot of the comments were from people who shared her concern.

"A lot of is that it's not morally correct. It's unethical," she said. "It's just something you don't want to discuss today in today's world and especially inside of a classroom."

Fuller said her biggest problem wasn't with the picture. It was with the text.

"Why was that used?" She asked. "With it being such a rough area, why would you put that our there to a class discussion that could have turned very ugly?"

Fuller said her daughter once wore a Confederate flag belt buckle to school. She said her daughter took it off after the school asked her to, but she still got an in-house suspension.

"If she can't wear that belt buckle, then why is it appropriate to make an assignment out of it?" she said.

She said she put the picture on Facebook to get feedback from other parents, not to get the teacher in trouble. The teacher has been put on paid administrative leave, and was not available to comment.

The Richmond County School System did release a statement on the matter.

"The Richmond County School System is committed to creating a diverse, equitable learning environment for all students," the statement said. "The language used in the example was unacceptable and has no place in our classrooms.

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