Second Teacher In NC Under Investigation.

11/18/2008 05:22:00 AM

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harris[4]Diatha Harris remains on the job teaching in Cumberland County Schools in North Carolina while a second teacher in the same school district has been accused of preaching their political beliefs to school children.

If you remember Diatha Harris is the teacher in the Cumberland County Schools in North Carolina who belittled and embarrassed a student on camera about her being a supporter of Obama.  The portion of the video, which was filmed by a Swedish film company ended up on YouTube.

In the video, as an example of Harris victimizing a McCain student, the teacher tells the young girl that the person she is picking for president has said that US troops will be staying in Iraq, a "senseless war", for another hundred years if need be.  She then tells the student "So that means your daddy is going to be in the military for another hundred years."  In the video the student can be seen biting her lip and nearly in tears.

Superintendent William Harrison of the Cumberland County Schools stated that he was “shocked when I saw the clip of an interaction between a Cumberland County Schools teacher and her students as posted on YouTube.”  In an interview with WTVD, Harrison stated, “I was particularly uncomfortable with the level of uneasiness felt by our students depicted in this video.”

Harris claims she was the victim of selective video editing and stated that she had recently apologized for her actions to the student and family, although the incident happened late last Spring.

Superintendent William Harrison of the Cumberland County Schools, has completed his investigation of the incident regarding Harris belittling a McCain student supporter on video however, the details weren’t released according to a school district spokeswoman.

The school system’s policy on political activity [PDF] stipulates, “Under no circumstances are assemblies, school classes, or students to be used in partisan political activities during the school day.”  The school system asked a lawyer to determine what disciplinary action it could take in the case of Harris.

Harris has retained a lawyer to fight to keep her job, according to a school district spokeswoman.  Harris remains on the job and continues to be allowed to teach, despite violating school policy in that she imparted her political persuasion on her students.  She has only 3 more years to retirement.

But now a second teacher within the same school system has accusations of the same.  Parent Tenesia Jackson filed a complaint alleging that Melissa Smith, a teacher at Mac Williams Middle School, made disparaging comments about President-elect Barack Obama on Nov. 6, a school district spokeswoman has said.

In the complaint, Jackson said that her 11-year-old daughter and other students in Smith’s social studies class had talked about their excitement at Obama’s election.  The complaint alleges that Smith told students not to be upset if their parents’ tax dollars went to “a 13-year-old girl for an abortion.”  The spokeswoman said the complaint also accuses Smith of posing hypothetical questions, including:  If you were a waitress, how would you feel if your customer gave your tip to a homeless person who had an Obama sign?

Superintendent Harrison and Principal Hancock are said to be investigating.


  • Teacher Who Is Obama Supporter Belittles McCain Student on Camera [Abuse of Power]  (11/06)
  • UPDATE on Diatha Harris, Teacher Who Belittled Fifth Grade McCain Supporter on Video [Hit the Road Diatha] (11/07)
  • UPDATE:  N.C. Teacher Diatha Harris Blames Videographers For Making Her Look Bad. [Yea, RIGHT!]  (11/10)


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