High school teacher in Ohio suspended over ‘Dora the Explorer’ illegal immigration meme

Fox 8 Cleveland

A high school teacher in Ohio is under fire for using an edited photo of the cartoon character Dora the Explorer that called attention to illegal immigration.

In the photo, a mug shot, the Dora character is portrayed alongside what is intended to be a convicted criminal. She is battered, with a black eye and a bloody mouth. The terms “illegal border crossing” and “resisting arrest” are displayed below her image, and Dora’s booking number was a series of the number “666.”

The photo was shown during an 11th grade AP government class lesson about voter eligibility at West Geauga High School, in Chesterland, Ohio, according to Fox 8, with both being examples of ineligible voters.

West Geauga Schools Superintendent Richard Markwardt released a statement saying the teacher has been suspended and the matter is under investigation.

“We are investigating the matter related to the politically-insensitive slides allegedly contained in a teacher’s classroom presentation today. The teacher has been placed on leave pending the results of the investigation,” Markwardt said.

The superintendent told The Washington Post that while the image was inappropriate, it wasn’t shown with malicious intent.

Markwardt also said he would not fire the teacher.

“I will not use what I regard as a lapse of judgment as the reason to damage the career of a good teacher,” he said. “That would be following one mistake with another.”

In addition to calling on staff to honor diversity, Markwardt told the newspaper that he may recommend training for individual educators.

“I perceive the use of the objectionable image as symptomatic of a general lack of attention to the diversity of individuals in a largely homogeneous school district,” he said.

The Dora meme is not new, it surfaced back in 2009, when then-Arizona Republican Gov. Jan Brewer signed a strict immigration bill into law that gave cops wide latitude to detain people they suspected of being in the country illegally.

Stephanie Anderson, an attorney whose son is in the class, was “outraged” over the meme.

“Whether this teacher intended it to be a joke, something he found online, it’s simply inappropriate and outrageous,” she told Fox 8.

“Seeing that white supremacist juxtaposed with a brown-skinned child who has a superimposed black eye, blood coming from her mouth with the offense of illegal border crossing and resisting arrest, combined with 666 is 100% inappropriate,” she added.

Interestingly, some on social media saw fit to attack white people, even though the teacher’s race was not reported.

Here’s a sampling of a few other responses from Twitter:


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