A substitute teacher at a Georgia middle school is out of a job after allegedly authoring a list that branded African-American students as “devils” and white students as “angels,” a claim the district partially substantiated.
The unnamed sub, who taught at Awtrey Middle School in the metro Atlanta suburb of Kennesaw, was fired this week after administrators found they had drafted two lists, one titled “angels” and the other “devils, a district spokesperson told Atlanta Black Star.
School officials were alerted to the note after students snapped a picture of it and showed it to their parents. The teacher was then let go after Awtrey administrators confirmed there were inappropriate comments made about both Black and white students.
“Despite what was circulated on social media, the names of black and white students appeared in both columns,” the district spokesperson stated. “The District doesn’t tolerate any adult we employ making comments which are disrespectful in any way.”
Still, the list angered many parents who saw it as racially insensitive. One woman, whose son is a student at Awtrey, spread word about the incident on social media and put pressure on the Cobb County School District and the surrounding community to combat false stereotypes, specifically those about Black youth.
“And please, if you’re reading this … don’t say how you’re sorry this happened to my son who is a straight A student, comes from a two-parent household and flies planes in his spare time,” the parent wrote, according to local station CBS 46. “Instead, think about how you can remove your unconscious bias and racist motives before you step out of your home and engage with anyone who doesn’t look like you.“
Another parent offered a different take on the matter and said he wouldn’t be surprised if every educator has a “good apples” vs. “bad apples” list.
“I have to wonder if that symbolic classification of the students was accurate,” he wrote. “Bad idea to commit it to paper, but I guarantee you every teacher, sub, assistant, and admin in that building has their own equivalent mental list.”
This isn’t the first time a Cobb County school has faced what critics say is a racism issue in the district.
In 2017, a student at nearby North Cobb High School posted went on a social media rant, threatening to shoot African-Americans, WABE reported. Later that year, a teacher at South Cobb High reportedly threatened to hang Black students for being chatty.
“When we are telling the Cobb County School District that our students are being called the n-word, that teachers are telling students that they will lynch them, that white terroristic threats can come out from students at the high school level … and their response is that, ‘We are one system for success that treats all of its students well,’ it’s beyond frustrating,” Cobb parent Jillian Ford said at a recent school board meeting.