The Hephzibah High School teacher, who has not been named, was placed on administrative leave after projecting a Confederate flag and the statement: “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.”
The projection was apparently being used as an example of “a story within a story,” reported the Augusta Chronicle.
The Richmond County School System told the paper that an investigation culminated with the teacher being placed on administrative leave pending a review by administrators.
“The Richmond County School System is committed to creating a diverse, equitable learning environment for students,” the district said in a statement. “The language used in the example was unacceptable and has no place in our classrooms.”
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, Hephzibah High School has 1,019 students. Of those, 606 are black, 329 are white, and the rest are other races, including two or more races.
Melissa Fuller said that her daughter was in the class where the teacher put the picture of the flag with the accompanying statement up.
“She found it offensive, so she sent it to me and asked me what I thought,” Fuller told WRDW.
Fuller took the picture of the projection and posted it to Facebook to see what people thought.
“A lot of it is that it’s not morally correct. It’s unethical. It’s just something you don’t want to discuss today in today’s world and especially inside of a classroom,” she said.
“Why was that used?” she asked. “With it being such a rough area, why would you put that out there to a class discussion that could have turned very ugly?”
She said that she didn’t intend to get the teacher disciplined but didn’t understand why her daughter got a suspension for wearing a Confederate flag belt buckle to school but the teacher could “make an assignment” out of the flag.
The Confederate flag was used by the Confederate army of the south as it battled the north during the Civil War.
The flag was used by many, and is still used by some, to honor relatives who fought for the Confederacy during the war.
The flag has also been used by segregationists who oppose civil rights for African-Americans, particularly during the 1940s and 1950s, according to the State Department’s Bureau of Global Public Affairs.
“Once segregation was dismantled, the flag remained as a symbol of those who argued for a broad interpretation of states’ rights, the areas that the U.S. Constitution reserves as the responsibility of the state governments rather than the federal government in Washington,” it stated.
“Americans who oppose public display of the Confederate flag argue it doesn’t matter if well-meaning flag supporters deem it a symbol of Southern heritage or states’ rights. Its history, they contend, honors slavery, segregation, and inequality.”