Jacksonville, FL - An Atlantic Beach Elementary school teacher is facing a five day suspension without pay, and we’ve now learned the activity she’s being criticized for has made it in to her classroom for years.
WOKV has obtained the formal district investigation in to second grade teacher Teresa Flores, who used racially “inappropriate” depictions- including a caricature of Jim Crowe and image of a lynching- to teach her students about Black History month. In fact, she tells investigators she believed it was the “best way to teach the lesson” of that time in history.
The investigation began when a concerned parent of one of Flores’s students emailed the school principal about the images.
The investigation says the parent was fine with several coloring assignments that had come home before then, but one struck him as offensive. He did not necessarily want to see disciplinary action against Flores, who he says his child enjoyed, but more action against the website the material was obtained from.
Teachers are encouraged to teach lessons relating to Black History month, however the district says most of those lessons and materials come from the teachers themselves, rather than the district. Flores used a website called EdHelper.com to obtain the packet, which she claims to have used for three years without issue. The investigation says she believed the material was age appropriate, although she admits it was intended for older children. While Flores tells investigators it was intended for 4th or 5th graders, the district says the website lists the activities for 8th or 9th graders.
Flores has no prior disciplinary issues on her record, and the district cites that as one of the reasons she is facing suspension without pay rather than termination. Additionally, they cite a desire to “afford you [Flores] progressive discipline”. The documents further state if Flores fails to comply with some of the terms of her suspension, including not making and keeping appointments with the Employee Assistance Program, it could result in her dismissal.
The full School Board will vote next week on the recommendation to suspend Flores for five days without pay.