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Teacher Was Removed After Sharing Civl War-Era Ads Depicting Racism.

Palm Beach County School District Moves After Articles

Ad from the Chicago Tribune in the 1800s. Sharing the ad led to a teacher’s suspension at West Boca Raton Community High School.

BY: ANDREW COLTON | Editor and Publisher

BOCA RATON, FL ( (Copyright © 2021 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — A West Boca Raton Community High School teacher was reinstated after reported that Principal Ed Capitano — and other senior school district officials — took the extraordinary measure of removing him for displaying images of ads published in the Chicago Tribune in the 1860s.

The ads, which we are publishing above and below, depict how racism and politics intersected during the Civil War. They were part of a wide-ranging lesson.

The teacher, who we are not naming, was removed last week. Palm Beach County School District officials confirmed the reinstatement to late Wednesday, adding the investigation continues.

But whether the investigation is focused on the teacher, or Principal Capitano and other administrators behind the teacher’s removal, is unclear. has learned that school administrators likely previewed the material that ultimately led to the teacher’s suspension. A school district administrator, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that principals and department heads routinely review teacher lesson plans before they are shared or posted on Google Classroom for students to download.

A West Boca Raton Community High School Teacher was suspended, and then reinstated, after sharing this ad from the Chicago Tribune in the 1800s.

While students are attending “in person” school this year, teachers are still encouraged to post handouts and other material to Google Classroom so students who are ill, quarantined, or just absent can access the work. The lesson plan using the “controversial images” was still available through the teacher’s Google Classroom portal on Tuesday.

Parents and students reaching out to were outraged by the teacher’s removal, universally saying that history needs to be taught so it is not repeated. Among the comments we received:

“This teacher was merely teaching history which is a fact of this time period. The End. This teacher should not be fired or sanctioned in any way. He/She should sue the school district to let the courts decide if teachers are allowed to teach actual history as it existed.”

“This teacher did the right thing; after generations of whitewashing this country’s racist past; Here is a teacher showing the passions of the day in those illustrations and how far we have come as a nation and America is a work in progress; it’s a great lesson for everybody; history is facts and truth; “everything that’s faced can’t be changed; but nothing can be changed unless it is faced” (James Baldwin).

“As a retired principal (27 years), I feel that this decision is inappropriate and should be immediately rescinded. It is time for school administrators to stand up for what is right. I find the actions of the school administration to be shocking.”

Additional material used by the teacher which added context to the images that someone found offensive. The teacher was reinstated after reported on his suspension or dismissal.

“I am outraged that this history teacher was fired for teaching history. History, by nature is not politically correct. It is there for us to learn from, let the children be appalled by the way things were but don’t white wash it. We are not a communist country. Teach the children to think let them see the truth, they are smart enough to understand the difference between right and wrong if they’re allowed to see the whole picture. I hope principal Capitano will think about what he’s done and apologize to the teacher and reinstate him as a parent of a student at West Boca High, I am deeply saddened to think that this is how our school operates.” did not receive one comment supporting the teacher’s removal or suspension. It was not immediately clear who complained, that person’s race, background, or other issues that led to a visceral response to American history.



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