A Florida teacher was forced to remove a decorative door covering that showed former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeling. The image was created for Black History Month and reportedly upset several whites in the community who found the cardboard image of a black man kneeling to be “offensive.”
Port Charlotte High School teacher Alissa Perry tearfully removed the poster from her classroom, which was captured in footage that has since gone viral on social media.
“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.”
According to People, the Twitter clip has racked up more than 2 million views as of Friday.
Michael Riley, a spokesman for the Charlotte County School District, told the magazine that Perry’s poster was considered “somewhat of a disruption” around the school’s campus and drew 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 received several “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.
Jaidyn Etheart, who shared the viral video, told local CBS affiliate WINK that Perry shouldn’t have been forced to remove her poster.
“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.”
Perry also posted a photo of what was left of Kaepernick’s beautifully constructed afro.