15:09 GMT19 October 2020
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    Lillian White, a Texas charter school teacher, was recently fired after she refused to stop wearing a mask bearing the words “Black Lives Matter.”

    White, an art teacher at Great Hearts Western Hills in San Antonio, was fired from her job a week before students were set to return to class because she attended in-person training sessions with homemade face coverings printed with the phrases “Black Lives Matter” and “Silence is Violence,” local outlet KENS-TV reported.

    ​“It was really stressful because I have a financial obligation to help support my family,” White told the station. “It’s also kind of heartbreaking that this is the kind of - this is the reason that I lost my job."

    “For about a week and a half I was wearing these masks and no one said anything. A couple of the other teachers came up and asked for some if I had any extras and I made them some,” White, who has worked in the education field for over a decade, told the outlet.

    White on Friday received a text message from the school’s assistant principal informing her that they would like her to stop wearing the masks. The text read: “We’d like you to stop wearing these masks anymore, parents will be coming around more and we don’t discuss the current political climate,” White told the station.

    However, White continued to wear the masks, resulting in her termination.

    “This is human rights and it should be something that is promoted at our school. It’s an excuse to not talk about it by saying this is politics, talk about it on your own time. It’s just an excuse because they’re uncomfortable with the conversation,” White explained.

    In a statement to KENS-TV, Great Hearts Texas Superintendent Daniel Scoggin indirectly addressed White’s firing.

    “Great Hearts respects the privacy of all current and former employees and as a result does not issue public comment on specific personnel matters. On the question related to face coverings, Great Hearts enacted, in this unprecedented pandemic environment, a policy that face coverings have no external messages. This policy was authored by school leaders and teachers in service to the learning environment of our classrooms.”

    “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,” the statement adds.

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    Tags:
    Black Lives Matter, School, US
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