(CNN)A Texas teacher was fired for continuing to wear a Black Lives Matter face mask after school officials asked her to stop.
Lillian White, an art teacher at Great Hearts Western Hills, a public charter school in San Antonio, began wearing a face mask that read “Black Lives Matter” and “Silence is Violence” after the charter school reopened in the summer for in-person workdays amid the coronavirus pandemic. At the time, students were not on campus.
White said she wore the mask to demonstrate her support for Black students and faculty, but also to advocate for an anti-racism action plan and a more diverse curriculum.
Great Hearts Texas Superintendent Daniel Scoggin said in a statement to CNN that school policy forbids faculty from displaying messages on their face masks.
“Great Hearts enacted, in this unprecedented pandemic environment, a policy that face coverings have no external messages,” Scoggin said.
The art teacher, who has worked in education for more than 10 years, continued to wear the mask despite receiving multiple requests from school officials to stop.
“I immediately knew it was time for me to make a decision, and I didn’t think twice about it. This is a human rights issue and I did it for my students who experience racial injustice in school. I refused to back down,” White said.
“If you’re scared about what parents are going to say because a teacher is supporting equal rights, you need to reevaluate the kind of people you’re catering to. By staying silent, Great Hearts is only supporting racist parents.”
1) Notice how it wasn’t the message on the mask. It was the fact that there was a message at all. The school’s policy is clear. It is designed to prevent teachers from abusing their position of power to advocate personal opinions and to ensure that the school is a welcoming place for families of all backgrounds and perspectives. This teacher refused to adhere to the policy. The administration worked with her for weeks to get her to adhere to the policy. She left them no choice.
2) Notice the false paradigm. If you don’t support HER political and social views and support HER advocacy of such, then you are a racist. The administration is racist for wanting to keep all messages off of masks. And the parents who might not want to see such messaging on their kids’ teacher’s mask are racists. The teacher has an incredibly selfish and closed mind. It’s a good thing she isn’t teaching kids anymore.
3) Is anyone else amused that her name is Lillian White… Lily White? No? C’mon, man…