School Faces Criticism For Defund The Police Poster In Classroom

The brother of a recently slain cop returned to Fishers High School and was met by a poster that read "Defund The Police".

By Erika Hanson | Published

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Fishers High School

A young boy, grieving the recent tragic loss of his older brother in the line of duty was ushered into a new school year with added stress, only to have feelings exacerbated when he entered one of his classrooms to find a poster hanging on the wall titled “Defund the Police?” The slogan has gained widespread support from certain groups following the death of George Floyd in May 2020. Once again, it is causing turmoil, with the heat on Fishers High School in Indiana for what may have been blatant disregard to the known emotional impact the poster could have on the student.

According to an exclusive report from Chalkboard Review, the younger brother of a police officer who was recently killed during active duty was still struggling to cope with the loss of his older sibling. Speaking with the news outlet and corroborating the story, his family said that they discussed their son’s situation with school officials before his return. They stated that emails were sent to all of his upcoming teachers, notifying them of his state of mind during the difficult time. But when the student entered Fishers High school and was greeted in one classroom to a Defund the police poster, his parents assert that he suffered “serious distress.” 

The poster in question was found inside his 2nd-period creative writing class. The teacher, 26-year-old Marina Gibson, said that the poster was the work of a previous class student, who was working on a project that discussed the pros and cons of the movement. Assumingly receiving the notice from Fishers High School that one of her students was coping with the loss of a uniformed sibling, Gibson said that the project was left on display by accident.

Some aren’t buying the Fishers High School teacher’s allegations that it was a simple mistake leaving the poster up. According to some local authorities and several students interviewed, the young teacher is known for being a progressive activist in the community. Last year, some reported that she was heard shouting “George Floyd!” and “police brutality!” as officers attempted to detain a student in the school. 

Gibson also works with the Fishers High School mental health club. Because of her role as a sponsor in efforts to help students cope with emotional issues, she has been ridiculed for overlooking the stress that the defund the police poster would cause on one of her students grappling with losing a family officer in that manner. On top of her history with the club and activism, the teacher has previously been awarded by students in the school for her advocacy. 

After publishing the story, a spokesperson for Fishers High School responded to Chalkboard Review, clearing up the situation further. The message conveyed that the situation had been “swiftly dealt with.” Furthermore, the school released a formal apology for the turmoil the poster may have erected. Likewise, the family reached out for clarification, noting that the teacher never offered an apology to their son for displaying the poster.

Fishers high school

What remains unclear is whether or not the Fishers High School teacher truly is regretful for keeping the Defund the Police project on display. More than likely, it was never meant to intentionally target the student who took the display to heart. While the school has apologized for any distress, it sheds light on a growing movement calling for schools to remove any insinuation of political and social bias in the classroom.