National Teacher of the Year will be ‘more careful with his words’ after tweeting out a violent threat against a U.S. Senator
2019 National Teacher of the Year, Rodney Robinson, has apologized after he made what he called "a bad joke" on Twitter. In his December 30 tweet, Robinson, a Richmond, Virginia native, referenced the violent attack on Republican Senator Rand Paul by his next door neighbor in 2017, then suggested Senator Mitch McConnell’s neighbors should “step up” and do the same:
Who are Mitch McConnell’s neighbors? I’m just saying Rand Paul’s neighbor did what a Kentucky hero should do. It’s your turn to step up.
Senator Paul's wife, Kelley, responded to Robinson's initial tweet, calling Robinson "a hateful thug." Outraged, she informed Robinson her husband had suffered 6 broken ribs in the attack and underwent surgery to remove part of his lung.
Robinson quickly deleted the tweet and apologized, claiming he made "a bad joke" and does not "advocate violence against anyone." In a longer apology letter posted on Medium, Robinson reiterated his "bad joke" explanation and insisted he had no idea "Rand Paul was seriously injured in the altercation.”
Mrs. Paul denounced both apologies as "woefully inadequate and disingenuous:"
He continues to describe the 2017 blindside attack on Rand as a ‘fight’ and an ‘altercation,’ which is completely false. Mr. Robinson initially responded to critics of his repugnant call for more violence on our senators by calling them ‘conservative bots’ and implied that they were only criticizing him out of racist intent. It was only after overwhelming condemnation on Twitter that he deleted his tweets and made his page private. I maintain that this man has absolutely no business teaching young people. His tweet certainly doesn’t have the tone of a joke. It is clearly hateful in intent and dangerous.”
In the Medium apology, Robinson also writes, "I own this mistake and hopefully my record proves this an anomaly to what I represent."
Listening to Robinson's hate-filled TEDx talk to high schoolers in Richmond Virginia in May 2019, it's clear Wednesday's tweet was no anomaly. In fact, Robinson's speeches, tweets and blog posts are brimming with bigotry against whites, The Gateway Pundit noted a post-election tweet this past November in which Robinson wrote, "Parents of black and brown children really need to pay closer attention this week to their kids' classes. Remember 55% of white women voted for Trump and they are nearly 80% of the teaching profession."
In her article for TGP, Kristinn Taylor stated that Robinson's boss, Richmond School Superintendent Jason Kamras, had not responded to her question about the overtly racist tweet he posted in November. Ms. Taylor shouldn't hold her breath. Chances are Kamras, white, privileged and partial to Marxist pedagogy, with his own record of radical activism, signed off on Robinson's racist rhetoric directed at white female teachers.
Kamras, a far-left BLM supporter and self-proclaimed "political superintendent" even thanked Robinson for "his heartfelt apology" regarding the McConnell tweet, stating, "RPS does not condone violence of any kind...words matter--across the political spectrum." In his apology letter, Robinson echoed Kamras, writing "moving forward, I will be more careful with my words."
Robinson needn't worry. He’s not going anywhere. No longer in the classroom, he's part of Kamras' inner circle at RPS.
In August, 2020, a year after receiving his national award, Robinson, who previously taught at Richmond Juvenile Detention Center, was hired as a senior adviser for RPS. His current administrative position involves developing initiatives and establishing partnerships to recruit and support black male teachers. Robinson also has a key role in executing anti-racism policies for the school district.
At the time, Kamras heralded his protege as a “fierce fighter for equity, a proponent of abolitionist teaching, and an all-around force to be reckoned with. We not only need his voice at the table, we need him leading the very important work of helping RPS become an anti-racist school division.”