Black History Month poster stirs up controversy at Port Charlotte High


A Port Charlotte High School teacher forced to take down a Black History Month poster she made because it featured former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

“Thank you all for participating in this,” said Alissa Perry, a math teacher at Port Charlotte High School, in an emotional video posted to Twitter. “I’m going to go ahead and remove this, OK.”

Perry made a poster to celebrate Kaepernick for Black History Month, but this poster stirred up a different type of emotion in a lot of parents.

The Charlotte County School District says the front office was getting too many phone calls asking for the poster to be taken down, but students are saying the school district cracked under pressure.

“She wanted to apologize,” said Jaidyn Etheart, junior at Port Charlotte High School. “And, she thanked us for being a part of it and celebrating it with her.”

Etheart posted the video of Perry ripping up her Keapernick decoration on Twitter, but she says the issues with the art began a few days ago.

“I believe these boys from our school saw it, took a picture of it and put it on Snapchat, and said it was offensive,” Etheart said.

Perry finished decorating her door with the artwork yesterday, but the school told her to remove it Wednesday morning.

“We were getting parents complaining and everybody, and we just thought we have to put an end to this,” said Mike Riley, Charlotte County School District spokesperson. “It was a lose, lose situation for us.”

The door decoration of the former quarterback, who began to kneel during the national anthem for social injustice, was causing too much controversy outside the school.

“Our schools are a microcosmic of our society,” Riley said. “If we left it up, it would have been the same thing from one side, and if we took it down, it would be another.”

Some Port Charlotte residents believe the school district did the right thing by making the teacher remove the poster.

“If you can’t respect the flag and our country, and you want to make political statements out of things, do it on your own time,” said Rich Malpedo, Port Charlotte resident.

Others believe that this was an acceptable way to celebrate Black History Month.

“If they were honestly celebrating his cause for Black History Month, it should have stayed up for the whole month,” said Aubri Jernigan, Port Charlotte resident.

For some students, they believed Perry’s poster was a battle worth fighting for.

“They [school district] cracked under pressure,” Etheart said. “I don’t think that a few people’s opinion should be able to take away something that meant a lot to a lot of people.”

The door decoration was only going to stay up for another day, until the end of Black History Month.

Perry’s son tells WINK News that his mother was upset the poster was taken down, but she hopes her students understand what she had to too.

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