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Bexley teacher resigns after racist image shown in middle school announcements

Bexley Middle School on Feb. 8, 2023. (WSYX)
Bexley Middle School on Feb. 8, 2023. (WSYX)
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A Bexley teacher has resigned from the district after a racist image was shown in the middle school announcements, an incident that sparked a racial reckoning within the community.

The district notified families Friday that the teacher in charge of the announcements had submitted his resignation. The teacher was previously on administrative leave.

The school board is set to vote on the resignation on Feb. 14.

The image was of an orangutan eating a watermelon that was shown Friday following a Black History Month fact in middle school announcements.

"We know this cannot be treated as any sort of ending or closure and we are steadfast in our commitment to our continued efforts to eradicate racism in Bexley Schools," district Superintendent Jason Fine wrote.

After facing frustrated community members in a board meeting Wednesday, the district said it was made aware of alleged racist student social media posts.

Bexley Middle School students left their classrooms Friday in a show of support and solidarity as the district deals with racism.

"We are the children who sat there and had to look at the image the whole time in the news show. It was hurtful. It was wrong altogether. So we definitely had to say something about it," a 7th-grader told WSYX. "I was confused. I was angry. There were so many emotions going on in my head."

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At least one parent threatened a lawsuit during this week's board meeting, and the mayor and city council president released a statement acknowledging racism in the community.

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