Robyn McCoy is helping spearhead this petition drive. She says with enough signatures the message to school administration will be clear. "We're hoping that [TISD] will realize the decision they made was made rather abruptly, maybe reconsider, find a different punishment," says Robyn. TISD's investigation revealed the skit was mocking students and teachers at Ramey Elementary. There was slang being spoken, and props used including a hair weave, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Taco Bell wrappers. School officials believe it was a skit that was planned, scripted and rehearsed. But supporters still say the teachers' credentials should outweigh a case of poor judgment. "We need good quality educators. It would be a big loss for Bell to lose five of their teachers," says Robyn. Laquisha Allen of Tyler has an opposing view, "A lot of people don't understand how offensive it was because it wasn't related to them." Like Robyn, Laquisha also has a child attending Bell. But the two parents see the issue very differently. "I wear weaves sometimes but does that mean that I'm not motivated, that I'm not a professional person just because I choose to style my hair this way or that way. It doesn't. I don't think anybody should judge a person on the way they look, the way they wear their clothes or what they choose to eat." Laquisha says she's unsure if her signature will be on the petition when it's presented at next week's school board meeting, something supporters are prepared for. "It's an open forum. People need to share their opinions. Obviously my opinion is I want to see the teachers stay," says Robyn.
Supporters plan to gather signatures from parents next week. They also plan to address TISD officials at the school board meeting on Thursday.