By Kristal Dixon, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution #atlanta-ga
The Cobb County School District is reviewing whether a Lassiter High School teacher violated district policies with a social media post she made about Jacob Blake, a Black man who was shot in the back by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The district’s Human Resources Department has been made aware of the post made last week by Carol Doemel, the orchestra director at Lassiter High School, a system spokesperson said.
“We expect every employee to treat everyone with dignity, respect, and empathy, both in person and online,” the school district said.
The Facebook post allegedly written by Doemel was forwarded to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, but was not viewable to the public on Tuesday. In the post, Doemel repeated allegations that Blake was accused of crimes and resisted arrest before he was shot by police.
“…People are upset about the police having to shoot this criminal?” according to a screenshot of the post. “And of course, it makes perfect sense to burn businesses, attack people, (and) torch the cars at a car dealership.”
Doemel declined to comment on the post for the AJC.
The Associated Press has debunked similar statements about Blake. According to the AP, online court records show that Kenosha County prosecutors charged Blake with sexual assault, trespassing and disorderly conduct in connection with domestic abuse on July 6. An arrest warrant was issued on July 7. The felony warrant filed in the case has since been vacated, CNN.comreported.
The shooting left the 29-year-old father of six paralyzed from the waist down, and led to protests and violence in the city. Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old white teenager, was charged Thursday in the fatal shooting of two protesters and the wounding of a third in Kenosha.
According to the Lassiter High School Orchestra website, Doemel has a bachelor’s degree in music performance from Florida State University, a master’s in music performance from Georgia State University and a post-baccalaureate degree in string education. She has been with the Lassiter program since 1993.
Jennifer Floyd, a former Cobb County educator who shared the screenshot of the controversial Facebook post with the AJC, said she was made aware of the post last week by another teacher. Floyd, a former orchestra program director at McEachern High School, said she was “hurt” by the post because she often collaborated with Doemel in the classroom.
“This post just hit so differently because it was just spewed hatred,” she said.
Floyd said she believes Doemel, who is white, should no longer be in the classroom because the feelings she has about Blake could impact her ability to teach Black students and interact with Black colleagues.
“As educators, there’s no way you can have this much disdain and go to the classroom and not have that same energy,” she said.