CHESTERFIELD, Mo. – Some Parkway Central High School parents and students are upset over an incident involving a substitute teacher who is also a candidate for state representative.

Jason Jennings, a Republican in Missouri’s 100th district, acknowledges that he removed and tore up Black Lives Matter and pride signs that were inside a classroom. 

“I think it’s very important to understand no kids where in the classroom when it was done,” he said.

A spokesperson for the Parkway School District said Jennings is no longer on their list to substitute because of what the district considers unprofessional behavior.  

Kelly Education provides the school district’s substitute teachers. A spokesperson released the following statement:

Kelly Education is deeply troubled by the reports of inappropriate behavior involving our employee. Our top priority is to protect the safety and well-being of the students we serve, and we do not tolerate employee behavior that violates our policies or the policies of our school partners. We are working with school administration as we investigate the matter, and the substitute teacher has been suspended from all future assignments pending completion of the investigation. We will take appropriate action at the conclusion of the investigation.

Kelly Education

Parents who reached out to FOX 2 about the incident said their children were shocked and disturbed when they learned what happened. They said the signs were inside a journalism classroom.

When asked why he tore up the Black Lives Matter sign, Jennings said, “I don’t think that’s something that teachers should be openly promoting to students.”

He said his faith as a Christian motivated him to remove and tear up the pride sign.  

Some parents also accused Jennings of campaigning in the classroom, but he has denied those allegations.

Tim McCarthy, principal at Parkway Central High School, sent a letter to families Friday. He stated that he escorted Jennings out of the building after consulting with human resources. Part of McCarthy’s letter reads as follows:

I am deeply sorry this incident occurred at Central High. The safety and well being of our students and staff are always our highest priority. I am also extremely grateful that our students and their teacher recognized that this incident was in violation of who we are as a school community and reported their concerns directly to Central High administrators. With that level of commitment to each other, I am confident that the success and positivity that has been so much a part of this school year will continue in the weeks to come.

Tim McCarthy