An Arkansas school district has reportedly launched an investigation after a high school teacher allegedly wrote racially charged posts on Facebook comparing President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama to monkeys, KARK-TV reports.
Trent Bennett, a teacher at Malvern High School, is accused of targeting the president and first lady in the offensive posts, calling the first lady "Michelle Obummer … America's First Chimp.” Bennett also referred to the first lady as "a nasty chimp" and called the president a "spider monkey," the news station notes.
"We've never had this problem before," Tabitha Hughes, who graduated from Malvern in 1991, told the news station. "I guess that's why it's disturbing to us.
"When he put that on Facebook, boldly, that was very disturbing," she added. "Honestly, I don't think he needs to be teaching."
Hughes expressed concern for her niece and nephew, who she says are taught by Bennett.
"A lot of kids read that. It's very heartbreaking that they are having to go into that school and feel a certain type of way now," she said.
The Malvern School District posted about the allegations Monday on Facebook, calling the alleged comments "inappropriate" and "insensitive."
"In no way are these posts reflective of the District. The District is currently investigating the matter and due to privacy laws and regulations are not able to comment specifically on any details related to the investigation," the statement continued. "The District takes this kind of activity very seriously and the appropriate measures will be taken once the investigation is complete."
The local NAACP has also gotten involved, with the president of the Arkansas State Conference of the NAACP, Rizelle Aaron, sending Bennett an email demanding that he resign if the allegations prove true.
"There is no place in an educational system for someone in a public position of authority that is willing to publicly make the comments that you are alleged to have made. If In fact you have made these racially charged comments, I respectfully request your immediate resignation from the Malvern Public School District," Aaron wrote in the email.
Read more at KARK-TV.