John Sousa, who worked at Wesley Chapel High School in the Tampa Bay area when he allegedly told black students, “Don’t make me call Donald Trump and get you sent back to Africa,” will be transferred to a different school in Pasco County.
The white teacher in Florida who allegedly threatened to get Donald Trump to send black students back to Africa has been suspended without pay for three days. He will also be transferred to another school in the same country.
The incident occurred the day after President-elect Trump was elected and while the superintendent Kurt Browning said the situation was “incredibly inappropriate” it was not an offense worthy of being fired over.
“You’ve heard me say I’m a supporter of second chances,” Browning stated. “That behavior is not condoned by this district. But there is a place for him.”
One of the problems is that there are discrepancies regarding what actually happened in the school hallway when the comments were allegedly made.
According to district spokeswoman Linda Cobbe, Sousa admitted making the deportation comments to the students but said he did not specify they would be sent to Africa. The students “were not unanimous” in their descriptions of the incident either.
When the Tampa Bay Times interviewed Sousa, he stated the following, “I said, ‘You kids get where you’re supposed to be, or the new president could get you in trouble.’”
Sousa told the Tampa Bay Times that he never pointed out any particular group of students.
“Maybe I should have been minding my own business … but there were kids where they weren’t supposed to be.”
“I didn’t vote for Donald Trump. … I am not a racist,” he went on. “This is what’s wrong with America. People make accusations about people without really knowing them.”
He will be transferred to Mitchell High School in Trinity, Fla., where he will teach students with autism.
The school board members were unanimous in approving the disciplinary steps that were taken. They felt that the suspension and the transfer were enough.
“It’s inappropriate language,” board member Steve Luikart, said. “Do you slap their hands, or cut their knees off?”
“He’s being punished enough,” added another board member Alison Crumbley. “He’s on our radar screen.”