Teacher Loses Job For Refusing To Remove 'Black Lives Matter' Face Mask
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Lillian White was told it wasn't the school's policy to display slogans on face coverings despite her wearing it since re-opening in July.
Great Hearts Western Hills, in Texas, says she 'effectively resigned' by refusing to follow their dress code and her contract of employment was cancelled on 5 September.
In an interview with NBC, Ms White said: "I've been wearing these masks, you know, since the pandemic started. I started making them and just hadn't even thought about it. I wore them to work for about a week and a half before anyone even said anything."
According to Ms White, she got a text message from the Assistant Headteacher on 31 July telling her to wear a different mask because parents would be arriving on campus and the school chooses not to discuss 'the current political climate'.
Although the school says she resigned, Ms White maintains she was terminated, saying: "I didn't once say, 'I quit.' I didn't say, 'Here's my letter of resignation.' I was perfectly willing to continue showing up on campus."
Great Hearts Texas Superintendent Daniel Scoggin said in a statement to NBC: "The administration of the school worked with Ms. White for weeks, reminding her of the dress code and providing remote work assignments.
"When at last she wrote to the administration that she would not comply with the dress code, the school was advised by counsel that she had effectively resigned her position by stating that intention and the school so informed her."
He went on to add: "Great Hearts was founded and exists today to serve the innate dignity and worth of every human being. We stand with the Black community and all who are suffering.
"Great Hearts deplores bigotry and its crushing effects on all those subjected to it. Great Hearts is committed to an America where racism, violence, and injustice do not happen, because such acts find no home in the hearts of a great people."
In August, Ms White started a Change.org petition demanding that the school implement staff wide anti-racism training, create a more diverse curriculum and declare support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
She adds: "This is not an accusation of racism. We all have biases, and we must learn to recognise and face them in order to come together to heal and support each other. An educational institution should not be opposed to learning."