/  02.16.2021

Footage of a Florida teacher’s problematic history lessons have gone viral. As News Channel 8 reported, three videos of an advanced placement history class at Island Coast High School were uploaded to TikTok, broadcasting the instructor’s inaccurate statements about slavery.

In the short clips, the teacher denied that slaves were abused by their masters. When a student made mention of enslaved people being whipped, he could be heard saying, “They wouldn’t do that to the slaves.”

Another video captured the history teacher telling students that the N-word was not a racial slur but a term that meant “ignorant” and “stupid.”

The N-word just means ignorant,” said the professor. “It doesn’t have any other meaning in any other vocabulary other than, ‘You are a stupid person. You are ignorant. You are not well-read. You are not well educated.’ That’s what it means.” The third video filmed a conversation between students and the instructor about hate speech.

The TikTok clips were brought to the attention of school board members who reacted to the teacher’s lessons. Gwyn Gittens, in particular, admitted the district “has a lot of work to do.”

“We are very short of teachers,” she told News-Press. “I understand that, but we need to vet the few that we have to make sure that they’re doing what it is that needs to be done.”

“I’m not there to teach you how I personally, Gwyn Gittens, feel and what I believe,” she continued. “I’m there to give you facts and teach you how to dissect, and pick it apart and look at it, and define it and use it going forward in your future to make our world better.”

Debbie Jordan, chair of the Lee County School Board, confirmed that an investigation is underway to assess the teacher’s lessons. The instructor is on paid leave until further notice.

“This is just blatant racism,” said former School Board Candidate Curt Sheard. “He needs to be terminated in my opinion, and his teaching license needs to be removed.”


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