School staffer wears blackface in 'Rosa Parks' protest against vaccine mandates
According to The Newberg Graphic, a special education assistant at Mabel Rush Elementary School in Newberg, Oregon, showed up on campus last Friday wearing blackface. Yes. That is still happening. The reason? According to an anonymous staff member, she was protesting a vaccine mandate and used iodine to darken her skin. This move was going to somehow compare Rosa Parks' fight for civil rights with this person's disregard for public health protocols. The Daily Beast has confirmed that an employee had worn blackface on campus, with school officials calling it "unacceptable."
In a statement, Newberg Public Schools wrote that "The employee was removed from the location, and HR has placed the employee on administrative leave. The administration of Newberg Public Schools condemns all expressions of racism." This is the third controversy surrounding the Newberg school system's problems with racism and bigotry. Just last week Newberg High school was investigating a student who reportedly posted super-racist social media content to a Snapchat group called "Slave Trade."
Of that incident, Superintendent Dr. Joe Morelock wrote:
"With regard to the social media incident that involved students at Newberg High School, I want to make it clear that racist and bullying behavior has no place in our schools or community. We are grateful to students and others who reported the incident. As Principal Erion wrote yesterday, we are taking this matter extremely seriously — we will investigate all involved and follow our policies for any disciplinary action. (By law and for student privacy, we cannot share the results of any disciplinary action taken.) We also are utilizing our systems of support for all students negatively affected by this and other bullying behavior. Thank you to our high school administration and counseling staff who are taking the lead, and to staff in all our schools."
Of course, that comes about one month after the Newberg School Board voted 4-3 to ban "divisive" "political" signage like Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ+ flags and … I guess swastikas? That led to Superintendent Morelock writing:
"With regard to the published statements of a staff member that is making the news, we cannot comment on personnel matters. We have reminded our entire staff of the state law requiring flags in classrooms, have taken actions to check each classroom across the district, and are committed to abiding by the law as a district."
Tai Harden-Moore, a Black mother with kids in the district, told The Graphic that this wasn't surprising, as conservatives keep attempting to pretend public health mandates are the equivalent of white supremacist and anti-constitutional post-slavery segregation laws. "This makes sense only because we have our county commissioner, Mary Starrett, who drew that line between vaccine mandates and Jim Crow. That was only a couple months ago. Our county leadership is saying basic public health measures are akin to Jim Crow. There is a line between our political leadership and something like this happening. Our leadership matters."
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