TIFTON, Ga. – A Georgia middle school teacher has been suspended for 10 days after she responded to a “Black Lives Matter” Facebook photo by saying, “All lives matter.”
Eighth Street Middle School teacher Kelly Tucker posted that and the following on December 8 after seeing a Ferguson-related protest sign in her town’s Christmas parade:
“Its turned into a race matter. What about the thugs that beat the father in his vehicle because he didn’t slow down? What about the thugs that shot the college baseball player because they were bored? The list can go on and on. If the dude hadn’t have stolen, he would be alive. I think signs should read, take the hood off your head and pull up your dang pants and quit impregnating everybody. I’m tired of paying for these sorry [expletive] thugs. I would much rather my hard earned money, that the government takes, go to people who need it, such as abusive adults with children. Not to mention the animals that they beat and fight too. That’s all I’m saying.”
“The school board attorney says it went viral and that it was offensive, violating code of ethics for educators,” WALB reports.
“Ms. Tucker made a post that day that we consider offensive, and it has caused problems within the system,” Tift County school board attorney Hank Pittman said at the hearing before the school board, according to the Tifton Gazette.
“It’s clear reading this message in context that it’s directed toward African Americans. It contains many negative stereotypes directed toward African Americans,” according to the school’s attorney.
Referring to parents, teachers and “local leaders,” Pittman said, “They asked that something be done about it.
“The post is a violation of the code of ethics for educators.”
The teacher’s attorney notes Tucker also wrote, “All lives matter.” He also pointed out the teacher made no reference to a specific race and was only speaking from opinion.
Tucker, a 25-year Tift County schools employee, received a 10-day suspension from the school board, a punishment she is appealing.
Superintendent Patrick Atwater tells WALB beyond this incident, Tucker is a “great teacher.”