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Forsyth officials: Return to normalcy after educator fired for calling Michelle Obama a gorilla
JaneWAllen WEB
Jane Wood Allen. - photo by For the Forsyth County News

NORTH FORSYTH -- About a week after a national spotlight was put on Forsyth County amid an educator from Chestatee Elementary being fired over racist posts she made on Facebook about First Lady Michelle Obama and other anti-minority comments, students and teachers are not letting it affect their learning.

Jane Wood Allen, a parapro at the Title-I school in north Forsyth, was relieved Monday, Oct. 3 of her duties for the school system after it came to light she had been calling the first lady a gorilla on articles she shared about her.

“Prior to us sharing the news on the Chestatee website and social media, Polly Tennis, the principal, informed the staff, and a letter was sent home with students that day,” said Jennifer Caracciolo, Forsyth County School spokeswoman.

Because the incident is related to personnel, the district cannot release any additional information, Carraciolo said.

She did say Allen worked in a kindergarten classroom.

Classes are “proceeding as normal at Chestatee,” she said.

The posts came to light Friday, Sept. 30, which was the final day of fall break for the school system, causing administrators and officials to have to wait until Monday to decide upon any disciplinary action.

“Racism and discrimination are not tolerated in our school district. We are committed to ongoing staff training on the acceptance of all individuals,” Caracciolo said in a statement Monday.

On Aug. 27, Allen shared an article by Opposing Views with the caption, “First Lady Michelle Obama continues to top lists of most admired women in the world. Do you admire her?”

Her comment on the post read, “I admire a gorilla more than I admire her. (Wait I forgot, she is a gorilla)! … She is the worst example of a First Lady ever! (Oh sorry, I meant gorilla not First Lady)!”

She also posted an article from Americannews.com titled, “Outrage after Michelle Obama Slips Up…America Furious,” on which Allen posted, “This poor Gorilla. How is she going to function in the real world, by not having her luxurious vacations paid for anymore? She needs to focus on getting a total make-over (especially the hair), instead of planning vacations!”

Allen began working for the school system in 1989.

Earlier this year, a Forsyth County Schools high school principal was placed on leave for six school days in response to anti-Muslim Facebook posts the educator shared, though he did not write anything on the posts. The principal apologized and was ultimately allowed to return to his position.