Orlando, FL

Florida teacher uses 6th grade black students as 'props' and makes white classmates bow down to them

Maya Devi

A teacher in Florida has come under fire after posting a video on TikTok that shows white students bowing down to black students during a Black History Month skit. The video has sparked outrage among parents and families of children at Howard Middle School in Orlando, who feel that the teacher used the students as "political props." In the video, Ethan Hooper's students fan and feed three black classmates before bowing down to them. The video is labeled "P.O.V. A Florida classroom" and "Black History Month, the shortest month of the year."

Local media outlets have reported that administrators have placed the teacher on leave, and he is likely to be terminated. This is not the first video that the teacher has posted that has caused controversy. Another video shows his students making fun of the "Stop WOKE Act" passed in Florida in 2022. The bill seeks to prevent any "woke" books or materials from being used in classrooms across the state.

In the video, Hooper is seen walking around the classroom, snatching books like "Harry Potter" and "The Hate U Give," joking that the books preach witchcraft and black history. Although students appear to be laughing and "in on the joke" in both videos, parents have expressed disgust, feeling that the teacher is using the children, who are 11 and 12 years old, as "political props."

The backlash to the video gained traction after it was shared by Libs of TikTok, who also shared the "Stop WOKE Act" video. Critics of the videos called for the teacher to be fired, while others questioned why a teacher would use social media during school hours and post their students' identities.

Following the backlash, the Orange County Public Schools superintendent expressed her outrage over the "inappropriate" videos and said she is looking into the situation. She stated that the behavior and judgment of the teacher who posted the videos is not free speech but is the exploitation of the students for political purposes and will not be tolerated in the school district.

Despite this, some students and parents disagree with the superintendent's statement and feel that the teacher's actions were justified. The students who appeared in the videos claimed they agreed to participate and did not feel Hooper did anything wrong. One parent stated that the fact that the students had devised the content meant that it was something that mattered to them and that they had not been used as pawns.

Despite the support from some students and parents, the Orange County Public Schools' Media Manager has stated that employees who create TikTok videos or other content with students with the intention of exploiting them for political benefits will be immediately removed from the classroom and swift action will be taken to terminate employment. It remains to be seen what action will be taken against the teacher.

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I have done my graduation in history and politics. I write unique and interesting articles focused on our day to day life.


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