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Teacher investigated for posting 'terrorist list' of students on classroom door

Published Feb. 21, 2015

Pinellas school district officials are investigating a math teacher at St. Petersburg High who allegedly posted a "terrorist list" on his classroom door with students' names.

District officials declined to name the teacher, citing the investigation.

Tyler Harris, 15, discovered the list Wednesday after arriving at his fourth period class. He was one of five students named. Under each name was an Arabic-sounding alias that mimicked the students' actual names. Harris took a photo of the list and sent it to his parents.

"He was upset, very upset," said Sandra Harris, his mother.

She said the teacher called her husband, Pete Harris, and tried to explain himself. Her husband hung up on him, she said. Tyler didn't know why he was included, but his mother said there's no reason that would justify creating such a list.

"You don't put something like that up. You just don't," she said.

Demorris Lee, a spokesman for Pinellas County Schools, said the allegation is under review by the district's Office of Professional Standards. Any discipline will be determined after the investigation concludes.

In a statement released Friday, district officials said: "This matter is being taken very seriously because St. Petersburg High School aims to foster a caring and safe learning environment for all students."

Harris said that her son has moved to another math class.

Times researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report.