One would think that teachers of all people wouldn’t be racist to their colleagues at work and be role models for their students.
Apparently, that wasn't the case with one teacher in Oklahoma.
Larry Long, a retired agriculture teacher from Elk City High School, asked his unidentified African-American colleague to join him on stage at an annual Oklahoma Career and Technology Education Summer Conference last week, NewsOK reported.
Once the teacher took the stage, Long presented him with a Confederate flag and a Ku Klux Klan-style white robe.
State lawmakers and the state agency that oversees the annual career program criticized Long’s actions that were allegedly a prank, according to Raw Story.
“It was supposed to be some kind of a joke, but I haven’t talked to anyone that can see anything funny about that,” said state Sen. Kevin Matthews (D-Tulsa), chairman of the Black Caucus.
The agricultural building at Elk City High School was going to be named after Long, who was also a former teacher of the year, but now Matthews will speak with the school board to ask them to reconsider.
State Rep. Mike Shelton (D-Oklahoma City) knew the man would be asked to go on stage, but wasn’t aware of the racism that would ensue.
“I did get a chance to have a conversation with him, and he recognized the magnitude of the situation,” Shelton said.
Paula Bowles, a CareerTech spokeswoman, said, “We became aware of a meeting in Oklahoma City in which deplorable comments and actions were made. As soon as the department was made aware of the situation an internal investigation was launched. The department does not condone or tolerate this type of behavior and finds it totally unacceptable.”
It’s sickening that this retired teacher would insult his former colleague in such a public manner and not keep his racist thoughts to himself.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst