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CMSD resource officer suspended for comments

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Posted at 7:51 PM, Feb 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-24 19:57:28-05

NOTE: This story contains language that may be offensive to some.

NewsChannel5 Investigators have learned the Cleveland Metropolitan School Board suspended a school resource officer for 30 days over his controversial Facebook comments about Tamir Rice and Tamir's mother.

The decision to suspend Matthew Cicero was made during the school board's meeting Tuesday night.

Cicero was placed on paid administrative leave in January after NewsChannel5 Investigators started asking questions about his social media posts.

On Dec. 30, Matthew Cicero wrote the following statement to his Facebook page:

Tamir Rice's momma just want money. . . raise your kids not to play with guns stupid b#$*& . . . 

When a Facebook friend responded that Tamir did not deserve to die, Cicero posted the following reply:

You pull out a gun you get shot. I don't have time to ask questions and coddle kids that wave guns around.

The Willoughby Hills resident, who has worked for CMSD for five years, also posted a meme showing a man holding up a real gun in one hand and a fake gun in his other hand.

A CMSD spokesperson sent us the following statement about the board's decision:

"Last night, the Board of Education approved a recommendation for a 30-day suspension for Officer Cicero, based on disciplinary guidelines outlined in the CMSD's contract with employees in our Safety & Security division.

Here is a link to that contract:

http://clevelandmetroschools.org/cms/lib05/OH01915844/Centricity/Domain/69/Teamsters436.pdf

While we respect every employee’s right to freedom of speech, with those rights comes a responsibility to do so in ways that are appropriate and sensitive to others, particularly to the people we serve.

CEO Eric Gordon continues to caution all CMSD staff members to show respect for feelings on both sides of difficult issues.  Hurtful comments on social media are contrary to our expectation that all CMSD staff will promote peace and understanding among those who disagree about or who struggle to make sense of tragic or controversial actions."