Correction: An earlier version of the headline suggested the teacher is female. The gender of the teacher has not been publicly specified.

The ghosts of the Confederacy are never really far from Augusta, Ga.

Gunpowder was once produced there at an industrial scale, and the detritus of a defensive brick wall can still be found in Magnolia Cemetery, where the bones of Robert E. Lee’s artillery commander Porter Alexander are kept. A 76-foot-tall marble obelisk mourns the loss of local men killed in the “cause of the Confederate states.”

Just down the road in Hephzibah, a high school teacher had a different interpretation of the Confederacy’s legacy.


In a classroom, the flag was described as “a sticker you put on the back of your pickup truck to announce that you intend to marry your sister. Think of it like a white trash ‘Save The Date’ card,” the Augusta Chronicle reported.


The image, originally taken from the popular webcomic The Oatmeal, was projected onto a whiteboard to explain the concept of a story within a story, the Chronicle reported.

A photo of the text was posted on Facebook by a student’s parent, prompting an investigation by the Richmond County School System. The teacher was placed on paid administrative leave, according to the Chronicle.

“The Richmond County School System is committed to creating a diverse, equitable learning environment for students,” the system said in a statement, the Chronicle reported. “The language used in the example was unacceptable and has no place in our classrooms.”


The school system did not return a request for comment.

The incident is a unique wrinkle in the national discussion over how Confederate symbols — such as flags, monuments and even Army base names — should be reckoned with in the 21st century.


There has been a growing movement to install plaques next to Confederate monuments that contextualize a war launched to preserve the institution of slavery, and explain how rebel symbols have historically been used to intimidate African Americans during key moments in the fight for civil rights.

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