Teacher Suspended After Dressing Up As Rosa Parks To Protest The Vaccine
In protest of a school’s vaccination mandate, a teacher dressed up as Rosa Parks and has subsequently been suspended for the act.
The staff member opposed the vaccination regulations of Mabel Rush Elementary School in Newberg and claimed they had dressed up as the civil rights icon to show that they would not obey the rules.
The staff member dressed up in Blackface as Parks, a figure who, in 1955, stood up against racist laws that saw segregation between white and Black people on buses, with Black people expected to give up their seats for those who were white.
The vaccine mandate of the Newberg Public Schools districts includes both teachers and other staff members in its regulations, however it does allow religious and medical exemptions.
The staff member’s action has been condemned by the district, and they have subsequently been placed on administrative leave.
The school district stated:
The administration of Newberg Public Schools condemns all expressions of racism.
It is important to remember how Blackface has been used to misrepresent Black communities and do harm. We acknowledge the violence this represents and the trauma it evokes regardless of intention.
Blackface has no place in our schools, and we are committed to the work of created spaces where every student belongs as we move forward together in our mission of educating student.
Speaking at a press conference, Superintendent Dr Joe Morelock said the ‘expression of racism’ was ‘dehumanising’ and ‘deeply disturbing’. He expressed the ‘deepest concern’ of the district was in relation to the ‘wellbeing of our students and our staff’.
He noted that ‘every day’, the school is trying to build an ‘environment where every student is welcomed and safe, and where there is absolutely no tolerance for racist or bullying behaviour’.
If we had the power to entirely eliminate deep-seated racism, we would in a heartbeat. But the painful truth is that clearly, racist behaviour exists in our town, in our state, and our world – not just in the major and overt ways we’ve seen recently, but in subtle ways that affect people of colour every single day.
Morelock condemned the employee’s act as ‘unfathomably offensive’ and concluded that he, along with ‘every other staff member’, was ‘horrified, angry and ashamed’ and that students of colour in Newberg deserved ‘so much more’.
Morelock said the district ‘must interrupt and respond’ and ‘must do better’, to prevent such incidents as these from occurring.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk
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