Charge of racist remarks costs Forsyth educator job

Forsyth County Schools fired paraprofessional Jane Wood Allen Monday after investigating her posted comments on Facebook calling first lady Michelle Obama a gorilla.

A release from Forsyth County Schools says: “Racism and discrimination are not tolerated in our school district. We are committed to ongoing staff training on the acceptance of all individuals. As this is a personnel matter, the district will provide no further comment.”

Allen threw herself into the spotlight when she wrote a response to the Facebook site Opposing Views, which noted that Mrs. Obama continues to top the list of most admired women in the world.

“Do you admire her?” Opposing Views asked.

One of Allen’s responses is:

“I admire a gorilla more than I admire her. (Wait, I forgot. She is a gorilla)! If she was a real First Lady, she would not have used and abused her title, by thinking that she is entitled to go on all the trips that she takes every other day. But most of all wasted all of our tax payers money. She is the worst example of a First Lady ever! (Or sorry, I meant gorilla, not First Lady)!”

The comparison of African Americans to monkeys has a long history in racist literature and actions.

Allen is not the first Georgia educator to suffer consequences after posting on social media.

Forsyth County suspended Lambert High School Principal Gary Davison regarding posts on Davison’s personal Facebook page after posting political and religious statements that some found offensive, such as “one nation under God, not Allah.”

Also earlier this year a state Department of Education official, Jeremy Spencer, left his job under pressure after he posted political remarks including one about President Barack Obama which drew a response from a Facebook friend that showed a photo of a lynched black man with the comment “Only one way to solve the problem, impeach and…” Spencer left the remark up for weeks.

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