Georgia is on my mind.
An unidentified high school teacher at Hephzibah High School in Hephzibah, Ga., was placed on paid administrative leave after allegedly posting a message in her classroom saying the Confederate flag symbolizes one’s intent to “marry your sister.”
One offended student told her mom the teacher put a photo of the Confederate flag on the whiteboard with text saying: “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.”
“A lot of [the discussion] is that it’s not morally correct. It’s unethical,” the teen’s mother Melissa Fuller told WRDW. “It’s just something you don’t want to discuss today in today’s world and especially inside of a classroom.”
She posted about the incident on Facebook last week, where fellow parents and members of the community chimed in—generating more than 150 comments.
Fuller told the station that her daughter once wore a belt to school with a Confederate flag buckle and was asked to take it off and received an in-house suspension.
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“If she can’t wear that belt buckle, then why is it appropriate to make an assignment out of it?” she asked, adding that her issue isn’t with the Confederate flag image but the text.
“Why was that used? With it being such a rough area, why would you put that our there to a class discussion that could have turned very ugly?” she asked.
The Confederate flag, embraced by the southern pro-slavery states during the Civil War, remains problematic over 150 years later.
Considered a part of rich southern heritage for some, it is also decried as a polarizing symbol of slavery, Jim Crow and modern-day racism.
WRDW reports that Fuller did not go on social media to get the teacher in trouble but to get feedback from other parents.
Oh, okay. Sure.
As can be expected, the story spread like wildfire—or the more modern term: went viral. Some on social media are in support of the teacher’s decision for the lesson.
The teacher was subsequently put on administrative leave by the Richmond County School System.
“The Richmond County School System is committed to creating a diverse, equitable learning environment for all students,” the district said in a statement. “The language used in the example was unacceptable and has no place in our classrooms.”