Friday 1 January 2021

School Superintendent Accepts Apology of Teacher of the Year Rodney Robinson for ‘Joke’ Calling for Beating of Mitch McConnell

 Richmond, Virginia School Superintendent Jason Kamras accepted the “heartfelt” apology by 2019 National Teacher of the Year Rodney Robinson for calling for the beating of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Robinson later said he meant the comment as a joke. Kamras did not indicate whether Robinson will face any repercussions.

“Who are Mitch McConnell’s neighbors? I’m just saying Rand Paul’s neighbor did what a true Kentucky hero should do. It’s your turn to step up.”

Kamras, who was 2005 National Teacher of the Year, posted to Twitter on Thursday, “RPS doesn’t condone violence of any kind. Period. Thank you to ⁦@RodRobinsonRVA⁩ for this heartfelt apology. Words matter – across the political spectrum.”

Robinson made his Twitter account private Wednesday evening after being called out for the McConnell tweet. He posted an apology to Medium on Thursday that was accepted Kamras. Complete text:

An Apology

I recently made a bad joke on Twitter about Rand Paul’s fight with his neighbors in relation to Mitch McConnell’s neighbors and I was wrong for that. No one should be assaulted. Due to my ignorance of the situation, I didn’t know Rand Paul was seriously injured in the altercation. I apologize for making light of his injuries. I do not advocate for violence against Mitch McConnell.

I often preach to my students and other teachers that the mirror is the biggest tool for improvement. You have to look into the mirror and ask yourself reflective questions and be honest with the answers. It’s time for me to look in the mirror and reflect on my recent actions. I use humor to build relationships with my students and coworkers. Humor allows people to let their guard down, be open, express frustrations, and discuss serious topics and situations. However, assault is not funny and should never be treated that way. I was wrong for that.

For those who challenge my record of advocating for kids, I invite you to do more research on who I am and what I stand for. I have over 20 years in education working with underserved and underrepresented populations of children. Check out my website and click on several blogs I wrote and speeches I have given. Interview the thousands of students, families, educators, and community advocates I have built relationships with around the country to get a true picture of who I am. I will always advocate for children in America no matter their race, sexual orientation, gender, religion, or physical ability.

I was 100% wrong for the Rand Paul/Mitch McConnell joke and once again apologize for my actions. I own this mistake and hopefully my record proves this an anomaly to what I represent. Moving forward, I will be more careful with my words and use my platform to uplift the community I serve.

Kamras has not responded to a question by this writer about a recent racist comment by Robinson in which he warned parents of Black and brown students about white women teachers, “Parents of black and brown children really need to pay closer attention this week to their kids’ classes. Remember 55% of white women voted for Trump and they are nearly 80% of the teaching profession.”

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