“They [school district] cracked under pressure,” Jaidyn Etheart, who shared the viral video, told local CBS affiliate WINK. “I don’t think that a few people’s opinions should be able to take away something that meant a lot to a lot of people.”
A Florida teacher was forced to remove a poster of former NFL player Colin Kaepernick she created for Black History Month after the artwork drew backlash from some in the local community who found the display “offensive.”
In footage posted online this week that has since gone viral, Port Charlotte High School teacher Alissa Perry tearfully removed the poster from her classroom.
“Thank you all for participating in this,” Perry could be seen saying shakily in the short clip. “I’m going to go ahead and remove this.”
The video, which was posted to Twitter by a student at the school, according to People, has racked up more than 2 million views as of Friday.
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
Michael Riley, a spokesman for the Charlotte County School District, told the magazine that Perry’s poster prompted “somewhat of a disruption” around the school’s campus and an outpouring of criticism from many in the local community.
“When the poster was put up, several students posted it to social media. This caused somewhat of a disruption at the school,” Riley told People. “Colin, whether he intended to by his kneeling protest, has become a very controversial, decisive personality.”
“If you recall, our President stated that he disrespected our nation and our flag, asking citizens to boycott the NFL and Nike. We also had an equal number in our nation who observed his actions as a silent, peaceful protest against unfair racial treatment,” he continued.
Riley went on to say that the district continued to receive a number of “negative” emails and phone calls over the poster despite having it removed.
“Our school [is] a microcosm of our society. If we had left the poster up, calls to the school and negative emails to the district would have continued citing their feelings of disrespect for our nation and flag,” Riley said.
“Since we have taken it down we have received the same number of calls and many many negative emails. Our hope is that our students experienced this as a learning opportunity and can be ambassadors for a united, United States of America,” he added.
Though some in the area were happy with the decision, others criticized the school for succumbing to outside pressure and argued the poster should have at least been able to stay up for the remainder of February.