A middle school teacher in Georgia is under fire after telling her students that their ancestors came to the country and killed millions in an apparent rebuke to President Donald Trump’s immigration policy.
In February, sixth-grader Josie Orihuela, a former student at Hampton Middle School, recorded her teacher Johnetta Benton’s rant during a lesson on Black History Month, the Atlanta Black Star reports.
Orihuela told Fox News that Benton criticized Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan and recorded the teacher’s rant.
“He must be talking about when it was great for Europeans… Because when it comes to minorities, America has never been great for minorities,” the teacher can be heard saying on the recording. “Cuz when I examine history, I can’t remember a time when it was great for anybody other than Europeans.”
Orihuela said that she and other students pushed back at the teacher’s claims before she said that they’re the descendants of people who killed millions.
“Before you talk about somebody else look at yourself in the mirror, look at your ancestry in the mirror before you start saying, ‘You’re bad, and you’re bad and you’re bad, so you can’t come ’cause you happened to have killed a few people. Well, guess what? My people have killed millions, not a few. Millions upon millions upon millions – babies and children,” she said.
Orihuela said her mom was shocked over the incident but was glad her daughter and other’s stood up to Benton. She was eventually pulled out of the school by her mother, according to the article.
Henry County school district’s J.D. Hardin told Fox & Friends in a statement that “this unfortunate incident affords us the opportunity to remind our educators of the importance of keeping any potential political bias out of lessons for students of any age.”
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.