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Texas teacher is fired for refusing to stop wearing a Black Lives Matter face mask

A Texas teacher was fired earlier this month for wearing a Black Lives Matter face mask during in-person workdays over the summer amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Lillian White, an art teacher at Great Hearts Western Hills, a public charter school in San Antonio, was fired on September 5 for refusing to stop wearing the mask after school officials asked her to stop. 

The words ‘Black Lives Matter’ are written on one side of the mask while the other side reads, ‘Silence is Violence’.

White, who said she started wearing the mask to show her support for black students and faculty, told CNN that no students were on campus during the in-person workdays over the summer.  

Lillian White (pictured), an art teacher at Great Hearts Western Hills, a public charter school in San Antonio, was fired on September 5 for refusing to stop wearing the mask after school officials asked her to stop

Lillian White (pictured), an art teacher at Great Hearts Western Hills, a public charter school in San Antonio, was fired on September 5 for refusing to stop wearing the mask after school officials asked her to stop

The words 'Black Lives Matter' are written on one side of the mask while the other side reads, 'Silence is Violence'

The words ‘Black Lives Matter’ are written on one side of the mask while the other side reads, ‘Silence is Violence’

She said that her first warning came two weeks after she began wearing the mask. 

‘Hey. can you start bringing a different mask on campus? We don’t discuss the current political climate on campus. Parents will start coming around more now,’ Heather Molder, the school’s assistant headmaster, wrote in a text message to White, according to CNN. 

White, who has been an educator for 10 years said that she ‘immediately’ knew it was time to make a decision. 

‘This is a human rights issue and I did it for my students who experience racial injustice in school. I refused to back down,’ White told CNN. 

‘If you’re scared about what parents are going to say because a teacher is supporting equal rights, you need to reevaluate the kind of people you’re catering to. By staying silent, Great Hearts is only supporting racist parents.’  

White spent a month speaking to officials about the matter, but she was fired on September 5 just days before students returned to campus.

White spent a month speaking to officials about the matter, but she was fired on September 5 just days before students returned to campus

White spent a month speaking to officials about the matter, but she was fired on September 5 just days before students returned to campus

Following her termination, White started a Change.org petition that demands Great Hearts 'implement an anti-racism action plan'

Following her termination, White started a Change.org petition that demands Great Hearts ‘implement an anti-racism action plan’

White was an art teacher at Great Hearts Western Hills public charter school (pictured)

White was an art teacher at Great Hearts Western Hills public charter school (pictured) 

She says she was told that her termination was a result of her refusing to wear a different mask.

In a statement, Great Hearts Texas Superintendent Daniel Scoggin explained that the school’s policy forbids faculty from displaying messages on their face masks. 

The policy was enacted amid two pandemics plaguing the US: racism and COVID-19.

‘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,’ Scoggin told CNN. 

‘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,’ he added.

Following her termination, White started a Change.org petition that demands Great Hearts ‘implement an anti-racism action plan’.

The petition has been signed by more than 2,700 people as of Sunday morning.  

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