Alabama teacher will keep job after questionable geometry lesson

JEFFERSON COUNTY, AL (WBRC) – A Jefferson County teacher will keep his job after he used the image of an assassination attempt on President Obama to teach geometry.

The Jefferson County Board of Education ruled that Gregory Harrison would forfeit ten days of pay and will undergo diversity training this summer, but he will retain his job at Corner High School.

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference had called for his termination from teaching.

Alabama Education Association representative Michael Todd read a statement to the Board of Education on Thursday from Harrison. In the statement, he says that he is a good teacher, but made a mistake.

Several former and current Corner High School students attended the meeting in support of Harrison. Harrison did not attend the meeting.

Here is the statement from Harrison that was read by Todd:

I publicly apologize for the inappropriate comments that were made in reference to the President during one of my geometry class lessons. I made a very serious error in judgment with a teaching example of tangent lines and fully acknowledge such. To my students, colleagues and the public, I offer my sincerest apology for this action. As a veteran teacher of twenty-two years, I am keenly aware of the example I must set for my students and I realize that my actions fell short in this situation. I condemn violence in any form; therefore I want to clarify that at no time was there any talk of assassination or the killing or anyone advocated in my classroom. I deeply regret allowing this situation to ever occur and take responsibility for this unfortunate matter.

I have learned from this mistake and hope that we can all move forward. I would like to close with a quote from Mahatma Gandhi:

"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong."

Thank you.

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