Port Charlotte, FL – A Port Charlotte High School math teacher was told to remove a giant Colin Kaepernick door poster she had created for Black History Month because so many people complained about it.
Alissa Perry, a full-time substitute teacher, was ordered by school officials to remove the giant poster that featured hand-drawn art of Kaepernick kneeling, WINK reported.
The artwork included a giant afro of looped paper that went to the ceiling over the entire door frame, complete with a hair pick.
The artwork was ironically located to a “fact vs. myth” poster.
Kaepernick, a former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, became a polarizing force in racial relations after he began taking a knee during the National Anthem before National Football League (NFL) games in 2016, in what he initially claimed was an objection to police brutality.
The meaning of the protest extended to the American flag as Kaepernick said, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color.”
Kaepernick even sported socks depicting police officers as pigs along with his Nike shoes.
The former professional football player quit his team to become a free agent after his first kneeling season, but then no other NFL team signed him.
He then sued the NFL for allegedly black-balling him after the controversy he started caused angry fans to boycott the football league and its advertisers.
He eventually settled for an undisclosed sum which is estimated to be millions of dollars.
Perry had worked on the big piece of Kaepernick art throughout Black History Month and finally completed it on Feb. 26. The next day, she was ordered to take it down, according to WINK.
“We were getting parents complaining and everybody, and we just thought we have to put an end to this,” Charlotte County School District Spokesperson Mike Riley said. “It was a lose-lose situation for us.”
The school district said the Kaepernick artwork was causing too much controversy outside the school, too.
“This is a no-win for us, if we left the picture up there, we’d have half the community saying how un-American we are for having it up, now we have half the community saying why’d we make her take it down?” Riley told the Charlotte Sun.
Riley defended the school district’s decision to remove the poster.
“Our schools are a microcosmic of our society,” Riley told WINK. “If we left it up, it would have been the same thing from one side, and if we took it down, it would be another.”
A student of Perry’s, Jaidyn Etheart, tweeted a video of her teacher removing the poster on Feb. 27, with only one day left in Black History Month.
In the video, Perry cried and apologized to her students for removing the offending item.
“Thank you all for participating in this. I’m going to go ahead and remove it,” the teacher said.
The substitute teacher told the Charlotte Sun that the school district’s request to remove the artwork was confusing to her.
“I don’t know how black I can be,” Perry said. “The outside of the door was celebrating Black History Month, like when we decorate doors for Christmas, or the fall festival. It was nothing more than celebrating Black History Month, celebrating who I am. Math is going on in that room.”
But Charlotte School Board Chairman Bob Segur said the display wasn’t tied to the curriculum, the Charlotte Sun reported.
“It became a political thing,” he said. “Last time I checked, we don’t do black history in math class.”
Etheart blamed other students for the poster’s removal, according to WINK.
“I believe these boys from our school saw it, took a picture of it and put it on Snapchat, and said it was offensive,” the student said.
She said she thought the school district made the wrong decision.
“They [school district] cracked under pressure,” Etheart told WINK. “I don’t think that a few people’s opinion should be able to take away something that meant a lot to a lot of people.”
But many parents and community members saw things very differently and were very offended when they found out the poster had been displayed in their local public high school.
“If you can’t respect the flag and our country, and you want to make political statements out of things, do it on your own time,” Port Charlotte resident Rich Malpedo told WINK.