This is beyond the pale.  Some dumb-ass schooteacher in Florida has stolen Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign slogan and put his own interpretation on it.  From TV station WJHG, just out of Tallahassee:

The day went as usual at Marianna Middle School, but one thing is different: 7th grade teacher and coach Greg Howard is no longer an employee. He was suspended without pay for 10 days starting Thursday for making racial slurs at presidential candidate Barack Obama.
Our source told us Howard asked his students what “change” stood for and proceeded to write out the acronym “change”- come help a n(word) get elected. (emphasis mine)

Jackson County’s Deputy School superintendent says he’s received conflicting reports, but he can confirm change and the n-word were used.

JJP readers, Greg Howard teaches 7th grade.  7TH GRADE!!! WTF?  This junior high school-version of Rush Limbaugh teaches middle school kids and decided he’d get his Ferraro on in the classroom, probably thinking because he’s a teacher, a coach and defacto authority figure, the kids in his class wouldn’t notice or snitch on his ass.  As usual, when caught, yahoos like this bigoted bozo just get suspended from the job and required to attend diversity and sensitivity training as punishment:

He was suspended without pay for 10 days starting Thursday…Howard is being transferred to the Jackson County Adult Education Program and some parents say that’s not enough.

He’s still in the school system, y’all.  After his ten-day “vacation”, he gets to go back to work and teach Adults in Adult Education.  He still has a job, and benefits – nothing really happens to him except a letter of reprimand in his personnel file.

Howard has been released from his football coaching responsibilities and his actions are being reported to the Florida Department of Education. He is also required to attend diversity and sensitivity training as part of his disciplinary action. Howard was first suspended on September 29th with pay. Wednesday he was given a written reprimand. He will also have to write a letter of apology to the students involved.

This jerk had six African-American students in his class.  If I’m a parent of one of these kids, I’d transfer my child to another school; removing him from school for ten days (with pay) isn’t enough. He should at least lose the paycheck for two weeks – so he FEELS THE PAIN, ala Bill Clinton.

Folks, I make my living working in the field of Equal Employment Opportunity/Diversity/Civil Rights.  I’ve worked as an investigator, counselor, mediator, policy analyst and program oversight specialist.  I’ve worked in this field since 1987, so believe me when I say this: unless you make the punishment fit the crime, you cannot effect any change in bigoted behavior. Especially when it’s probably behavior that has been taught from the WOMB.  And if they get to keep a paycheck, they believe they got away with it.  Ask Don Imus about that.

I don’t know – diversity training and sensitivity training are good tools to promote a diverse workforce and facilitate tolerance and acceptance of one’s unique culture in the workplace.  It is also good business, as many corporations that practice facilitating diverse workforces, and enforce zero-tolerance for discrimination and bigotry, will tell anyone.  But, I don’t like it when it’s used as a perceived panacea to correct embarassment to the organization.  If you’re like me, you’re probably thinking this jerk has been doing this shyt all along; this is the first time he got caught, so the school district has to do SOMETHING.

Far more important, the more Senator Obama increases his lead over McCaint in the polls, the worse this type of bigoted mudslinging is going to get for the next 30 days, so fasten your seat belts; it’s going to be a bumpy 30 days’ ride.

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