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Mason teacher resigns, says district stopped her from teaching Black history

(WILX)
Published: Feb. 26, 2021 at 4:18 PM EST
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MASON, Mich. (WILX) - On Feb. 12, Mason elementary teacher Katelyne Thomas resigned from her position because she says that the district stopped her from teaching Black history to special ed students. Her last day of work is Feb. 26.

Thomas says that the district stated that “diversity was political in nature.”

The teacher says she was reprimanded for suggesting a Black Lives Matter lesson for Black History Month.

“I have students of color, students of color in my classroom some of whom asked questions about where they come from, their color, their culture,” she said.

Thomas then researched and found the National Black Lives Matter at School kit, endorsed by the National Education Association. She told News 10 when she sent the Black Lives Matter starter kit to administrators, they immediately shut it down.

“I believe they saw Black Lives Matter and panicked,” she said.

That reaction was followed by a reprimand meeting.

“I was told that I violated two board policies that included communicating with the board directly and controversial topics,” said Thomas.

She says diversity is not the only thing the school considers controversial.

“The pandemic, sex ed, gender all of that would fall under something that would be considered controversial as they’re political in nature,” she said.

Thomas says these rules simply don’t match up with her morals as a teacher.

“I felt that I was alienating my students and not doing my job effectively as an educator and not being an inclusive educator,” she said.

Now, she’s leaving with a direct message to the Mason School District.

“Do the critical work of anti-racism, it’s not just being not racist. It’s being anti-racist and changing policies at the district level and implementing new curriculum across our district that supports and includes all of our students even if it’s only one or two percent of our students,” she said.

News 10 reached out to Mason School District’s superintendent for a response.

Read the full resignation letter:

Letter of resignation
Letter of resignation(WILX)

News 10 is waiting to hear back from the superintendent as well as other district officials.

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