Mostly everyone agrees that 2020 was one of the silliest, most ridiculous, most absurd years in American history. But it appears 2021 is saying “Hold my beer!” As we all know, being more insane than 2020 requires at least one blackface story, and it appears one intrepid public school employee in Oregon has stepped up to the plate.
Fox 12 reported:
An employee with Newberg Public Schools has been placed on administrative leave after reporting for work in Blackface, according to the district.
In a statement released on its website, the district explained:
Last Friday, one of our employees reported for work in Blackface. 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.
It is important to remember how Blackface has been used to misrepresent Black communities and do harm. We acknowledge the violence this represents and the trauma it evokes regardless of intention.
The statement also stressed that “Blackface has no place in our schools, and we are committed to the work of created spaces where every student belongs as we move forward together in our mission of educating students.”
The district is investigating the incident and promises that “appropriate action” will be taken, but it has given no further details.
The school came under fire this summer when the school board voted to prohibit teachers from displaying Black Lives Matter and Pride paraphernalia in the classroom. However, others have pushed back on the ban and the board is set to debate whether to repeal the ban and send it to a policy committee.
According to The Newberg Graphic, the employee, who works at Mabel Rush Elementary School, indicated she was dressing up as Rosa Parks and “doing so in protest of a vaccine mandate for all school district staff.”
Another staffer who originally brought the incident to light said Lauren Pefferle – a special education assistant – had used iodine to darken her face. She was “removed from school grounds and placed on administrative leave.
This incident also comes after a Newberg High School student was recently found to have participated in a racist “slave trade” Snapchat group. The group “included racial slurs, homophobic comments, and the hypothetical sale of Black students” according to Daily Dot.
Reporter Ryan Clarke shared some of the screenshots of the exchanges in the Snapchat group. Some of the students made comments like “They can run but they can’t hide, $100 each,” and “all blacks should die.”
Deleted earlier Tweets on this subject to clarify a few details.
A group of students at Newberg High School allegedly created a Snapchat group called “slave trade” where they joke about auctioning off Black classmates as slaves.
(TW: Racism/homophobia. Names/faces are blocked.) pic.twitter.com/xiC2Vycn7E
— Ryan Clarke (@RyanTClarke) September 14, 2021
Apparently, this particular school district appears to have some race issues going on. And stupid, immature, and yes, even racist behavior can be found amongst youth. But you know they have some problems when even an employee feels comfortable enough to go to work in blackface. Hopefully, this will motivate the district to tamp down on Northamesque behavior in the future.