Facebook post on Michelle Obama 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 First Lady Obama continues to top the list of most admired women in the world.

“Do you admire her?” Opposing Views asked.

One of Allen’s response 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 trip themselves up on social media and suffer consequences.

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, resigned under pressure after he posted political remarks including one about President Barack Obama. A friend responded by showing  a photo of a lynched black man with the comment “Only one way to solve the problem, impeach and…”



Next Up in Education

Candidates for state school superintendent bridge partisan divide
Candidates for state school superintendent bridge partisan divide

The two candidates to lead the department that oversees Georgia’s 1.8 million students say they want more money for schools and for teacher pay, more classes in science, computing and art and more help for the poor. They both say they want less high-stakes testing, and they even agree that school buses should have seat belts. It may seem paradoxical...
Gwinnett BOE candidate asked to remove torch from campaign signs
Gwinnett BOE candidate asked to remove torch from campaign signs

The logo used by a Gwinnett Public Schools Board of Education candidate has county and state government officials scratching their heads about whether it violates any election rules. Two county organizations have complained that C. “Chuck” Studebaker, Republican candidate for the District 4 seat, has a torch symbol that looks like the Gwinnett...
Atlanta police to step up patrols around University Center
Atlanta police to step up patrols around University Center

Anita Johnson wanted her son, Deon Stephens, out of Chicago. Gang violence has plagued that city for years, and left it at or near the top of violent crime lists nationally. When he graduated in 2017, she was happy to see him off to Clark Atlanta University. But the spike in violent crime recently around Clark has her praying as much for his safety...
Newest offering at Gwinnett mall: diplomas
Newest offering at Gwinnett mall: diplomas

Instead of ditching school to hang out at the mall, some Gwinnett County students will be attending class at the mall. A new campus of Phoenix High School, a non-traditional learning site, opens Monday at Sugarloaf Mills. In partnership with Simon Youth Foundation, a division of mall owner Simon Property Group, Gwinnett County Public Schools is starting...
Clark Atlanta University president to resign in December
Clark Atlanta University president to resign in December

Clark Atlanta University President Ronald A. Johnson is resigning in December for personal reasons, he wrote in a letter Friday, after leading the university for more than three years. “I make this decision for personal reasons and I advised our Board of Trustees of my intentions today,” Johnson wrote. “While I am reluctant to...
More Stories