Cobb County School District needs to update its teacher guidelines

Illustration by Roe Gassett | The Signal

Editor’s Note: The writer is a former student from Pebblebrook High School.

When we were younger, our parents sent us to school with the idea that we would be taught, respected and tucked away from the world’s problems. Little did they know, the schools they were sending us to are the breeding grounds for those said problems. 

School shootings, bullying, mental health issues, sexism, racism and eating disorders are just a few things students deal with regularly. 

So what happens when some of these issues come to light in the media?

On Feb. 26, Susan McCoy, a science teacher at Pebblebrook High School in Mableton, GA, discussed the topic of Breonna Taylor’s death with her students during a Zoom meeting: 

“I’m sorry she was killed, but you know, when you hang around people with guns and shootings, you’re likely to get caught in the crossfire.” 

This statement and others she made during the meeting’s duration were recorded by a student and posted on Instagram. This caused an uproar on social media. Current students, faculty and alumni reshared the video so much that it caught national attention. 

Students and alumni then started recalling past encounters with McCoy, stating that she has made racist remarks in the past.

She is not the only faculty member in Cobb County School District who has been accused of racist remarks or actions.

Pebblebrook already has a bad reputation when it comes to being in the news. Within the past two years, the school has received a new principal, and right now, the school is undergoing new construction. During the 2019-20 school year, there were many school board meetings with teachers, students and parents regarding social issues within the system.

However, not many things were done by the county. Most of the time, the school tried to cover up bad things by saying that they care about the community and want everybody to express their concerns. Then, they throw a sporting event or a community event to defer from the issues going on within the school. 

As Pebblebrook alumni, I enjoyed my time at the school. I created many memories, but I don’t want to come back in 15 to 20 years to a school that has not made any changes because they refuse to accept the fact that there are social issues. 

Cobb County School District needs new guidelines when it comes to their faculty. It’s only going to get bigger and worse. The school district needs to accept the fact they can’t run from the problem. They can’t buy the hearts of the community. The school district has a responsibility to its students to better its social existence.

To fix the social problem, they need to look within the walls of their schools.