- An Oregon elementary school teacher showed up to work in blackface to protest a COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
- The teacher claimed to be dressing up like Rosa Parks, a Black civil rights leader.
- The school district recently banned Black Lives Matter and LGBT pride flags from its campuses.
An elementary school teacher in Newberg, Oregon, showed up to school in blackface last week and claimed to be portraying Rosa Parks to protest a COVID-19 vaccine mandate, according to the Newberg Graphic.
The state of Oregon imposed a vaccine mandate in August for K-12 teachers, saying they must be fully vaccinated by October 18.
—Ryan Clarke (@RyanTClarke) September 20, 2021
According to the Newberg Graphic, the teacher worked at Mabel Rush Elementary School, a part of the Newberg School District.
The Newberg School District released a statement on Monday saying the district takes all incidents of racism seriously. The district said the teacher has been placed on administrative leave, though it’s unclear from the district’s statement if the teacher is being paid while on leave.
“Last Friday, one of our employees reported for work in Blackface. The employee was removed from the location, and HR has placed the employee on administrative leave,” according to the statement. “The administration of Newberg Public Schools condemns all expressions of racism.”
“The employee was removed from the location, and HR has placed the employee on administrative leave,” the statement read. “The administration of Newberg Public Schools condemns all acts of racism.”
The blackface incident is a part of a pattern of racist incidents in the school district.
Just last week a group of parents alerted the school district about a group chat that several students were in called “Slave Trade” where students would jokingly bid money on their Black classmates, called for their deaths, and asked for “another Holocaust.”
The news of the “Slave Trade” game occurred hours before the Newberg school board went over a new ban on “controversial political symbols” in its schools, including Black Lives Matter and LGBT pride flags.