Vitti: Suspend teacher for lynching assignment

Duval County School Board to vote on discipline of 2nd-grade teacher

Published On: Mar 12 2013 03:38:51 PM EDT   Updated On: Mar 12 2013 03:44:13 PM EDT
Image from 'Who Was Jim Crow' coloring book
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Duval County School Superintendent Nikolai Vitti is recommending an Atlantic Beach second-grade teacher be suspended for five days for assigning a Jim Crow coloring book as a Black History Month assignment.

After an investigation into complaints from parents who saw the coloring book that includes a lynching, Vitti decided it was not age appropriate or culturally appropriate.

The Duval County School District also contacted the book's publisher, Edhelper, and asked them to remove the material from being available to educators. Edhelper has not responded.

In addition to the suspension of Flores, Atlantic Beach Elementary Principal Kimberly Wright will have a letter of reprimand placed in her file.

SEE FOR YOURSELF: "Who Was Jim Crow?" book from edHelper.com

One of the parents who filed a complaint, James Hill, said his 7-year-old son's assignment was to color in the pictures and read the text in the coloring book entitled "Who Was Jim Crow?"

"We were flipping through it and he was bragging about his coloring and staying between the lines, and we came across this depiction of the murder scene," Hill told Channel 4 earlier this month. "The lynching scene is inappropriate for second-graders."

Hill said he was taken aback by other pictures in the coloring book showing African-Americans with exaggerated facial features. Hill said the black history lesson also failed to highlight all the white people who helped to abolish slavery in 1863.

"I think everyone depicted in the document will be equally offended by the fact that on the Caucasian side, they were depicted as all black people weren't liked by white people, which is a generalization, which is almost astonishing," Hill said.