AKRON, Ohio (WJW) – Akron Public Schools says it acted quickly after a display was installed by a substitute teacher.

The display included a Confederate Flag background with photos on it.

The FOX 8 I-Team learned about it in a tip.

One photo was of Carolyn Bryant Donham, another photo showed a Black man with injuries to his back, another who is having his photo taken for a mugshot, and a picture of the cover of D.W. Griffith’s “The Birth of a Nation,” originally called “The Clansman.”

According to Akron Public Schools, the display was taken down hours after it was installed by a substitute teacher. 

John Smith, the substitute teacher who put up the display, declined an on-camera interview due to the ongoing investigation. However, on Facebook, Smith said he feels that all parts of Black history should be taught — the good and the bad.

“I put up on a post about Black History Month. I told them, ‘you’ve got the sweet and pretty downstairs, down the hall, next door,'” Smith said. “Who talks to them about this? Because the reality is, in my classroom it’s a problem, but I have to see it on cars, on cups, on hats.”

The district released the following statement:

“Curriculum should guide what’s taught. If teachers wish to vary from it, they need to do it with the support of building and/or curriculum administrators. This is why we have lesson plans,” Superintendent Christine Fowler Mack said in a statement.  

“This is especially necessary If there is to be any use of so-called provocative symbols because they must have context,” Fowler Mack said of the display.

“We must have broader sensitivity than this,” she closed.

Smith said he has been banned from all Akron Public Schools buildings and from talking to any district students.

“Do kids come in here to work? No, they come in on their phones, they come in to talk, to kick-it. Not around Mr. Smith,” he said. “We have a great agreement. When I’m talking, you’re not on the phone, and I’ll give you the time, all the time. Then you ask me questions, you need to, but when it comes to understanding who you are, know that you are standing on the shoulders of people who came before you.”