One woman’s alleged protest against a vaccine mandate implemented by the Oregon school district she works for could cost her her job but it’s the way she protested that has her in hot water.
The staff member, who has not been identified, reported to the elementary school she works at in suburban Portland in “blackface.” as an apparent protest of the school district’s vaccine mandate for employees, The Washington Post reports.
The woman allegedly showed up dressed as Rosa Parks and reportedly used dye to darken her face. The school district confirmed the blackface incident on Monday, saying the employee was removed from Mabel Rush Elementary School and is now on administrative leave and issued a statement saying it “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 read.
Gregg Koskela, the communications coordinator for Newberg Public Schools, declined to confirm whether the woman wore blackface to protest the vaccination mandate in an email to The Washington Post.
“We are not commenting on the intention of the employee, as it does not matter: The action itself is unacceptable,” Koskela said.
Oregon’s governor announced in August that all teachers, staff, and volunteers in the state’s public schools must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18th.
Many school districts are mandating vaccination for school faculty and staff members to combat the spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus.
Oregon isn’t alone. California, Washington and several other states have issued statewide mandates. Some jurisdictions allow exemptions for those willing to undergo weekly coronavirus testing, but Oregon does not.
We’ll keep you posted on any updates.
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