A Florida teacher quit after he claimed a school district employee removed posters of historic Black Americans from his classroom walls.
The Pensacola News Journal identified the teacher as Michael James of O.J. Semmes Elementary School in Escambia County. School officials have not identified the district employee.
James said images of Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, Colin Powell, and George Washington Carver were removed from a bulletin board in his classroom.
James had emailed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Schools Superintendent Tim Smith on Monday about the removal and said the images were "age appropriate."
"It really floored me," James told the News Journal. "I've been teaching special education for 15 years, and it just really floored me when she did that."
James said he chose the theme because most of the students and the residents in the school's neighborhoods are Black.
Smith said teachers are allowed to decorate their classrooms with educational materials and he was not aware of any policies that would prevent a teacher from displaying pictures of inspirational Americans, the newspaper said.
Smith has ordered an investigation into the incident, which he called an "anomaly."
A spokesperson for the school district added: "Our office was made aware of this employee's resignation and his stated reasons for resigning very early this morning, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022. Around the same time, we were copied on an email written by this individual and released to the governor's office and various media outlets before we had any opportunity to investigate.
"We are now in the process of conducting a full investigation. If these allegations are deemed factual, we will certainly take corrective action, as it is our aim that all of our teachers feel valued and supported."
James' resignation came as school districts throughout the U.S. reported a teacher shortage.
Districts across the country have reported increasing difficulty in recruiting teachers for this school year, with officials blaming the COVID-19 pandemic and political conflict over education.
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