Newberg school employee to work in blackface, is put on leave

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An employee at a Newberg school went to blackface work last week and was put on administrative leave, according to a message from the district.

The Newberg School District wrote in a statement, “It is important to remember how Blackface was used to distort black communities and cause harm. We recognize the violence it represents and the trauma it evokes, whatever the intention. “

According to a staff member who spoke to the Newberg Graphic on condition of anonymity, the school employee claimed to wear blackface to protest Oregon’s COVID-19 vaccination warrants, and was trying to look like the civil rights icon Rosa Parks.

The school employee’s racist action comes a week after the district admitted that at least one student at Newberg High School was part of a Snapchat group engaged in racist and threatening speech. The so-called “slave trade” group published images of black college students associated with dollar values.

The school board has scheduled a special meeting Wednesday evening to gather public comment on their “recent actions, motions tabled and upcoming decisions which may include banning political or controversial postings, changes to the language of the resolution. anti-racism 2020-04 ”.

In August, the school board voted to ban pride flags, flags indicating Black Lives Matter, and all largely “political” signs, clothing and other items. Supporters of the ban on the items said the signs were “divisive” and the signs did not make people feel safe.

The policy, which the Newberg school board voted to approve once, will go to a second reading and possible approval later this month.

Banning overt visual support for minority groups runs counter to recent state efforts to highlight support for students, including the Oregon Department of Education’s October 2020 Black Lives Matter resolution and efforts recent initiatives to help LGBTQ + students.

The Oregon Department of Education, the City of Newberg, the American Civil Liberties Union, some lawmakers and others have called on the council to back down.


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