A high school art teacher in North Texas was given a leave of absence after ordering yearbooks with the slogans “Black Lives Matter” and “I Can’t Breathe.”
Kayla Mick, who works at Downing Middle School in Flower Mound, Texas, enraged parents with the two stickers, which were one of many on every yearbook given to students.
One of the controversial slogans was on a larger sticker that said, “Science is real, Black Lives Matter, no human is illegal, love is love, women’s rights are human rights, kindness is everything;” the other sticker was a closed fist with the words ‘I can’t breathe’ – a nod to George Floyd’s last words when he was murdered by Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis in May 2020.
‘I don’t feel like schools should force anyone’s political views on anyone,’ said a parent, according to locals CBS.
“ There should have been a MAGA sticker and an ‘all lives matter’ sticker, if they are going to put political stickers you have to balance it, another parent said according to CBS.
Those two stickers were mixed with dozens of other stickers referring to recent events and pop culture, such as the 2020 election, Baby Yoda, TikTok, and hit games.
Two stickers on the back of the yearbook – “Science is real, Black Lives Matter, no human is illegal, love is love, women’s rights are human rights, kindness is everything;” the other sticker was a closed fist with the words “I Can’t Breathe” – excited parents in North Texas
There were no complaints on the cover of the yearbook (photo)
The Lewisville ISD said in a statement that a teacher placed on leave will not be suspended.
They said they had made the decision to put Mick on leave “to make sure we fully review the circumstances surrounding the yearbook design and have all the facts before considering further action.”
Although Mick was placed on administrative leave, director Curt Martin sent a letter to parents last week saying he approved the sticker and took full responsibility. WFAA.com reported.
In the letter, Martin said that none of the stickers “ conveyed a political message to me, but rather a documentation of the issues we face as a campus, community and nation, ” according to WFAA.com.
“I am fully aware that some do not share that view, including some of Downing’s students, staff and families,” he said. “For those concerned, please accept my sincere apologies for not considering your views on these stickers.”
The school offers refunds for the yearbook and an alternative sticker that says ‘Be Happy, Be Bright, Be You’.
It can be put over the controversial stickers to cover them, meaning students and parents who were offended can still keep the book.
Kayla Mick, a Texas high school art teacher, was given administrative leave
In a statement from the Lewisville ISD, the district said Martin had “ successfully resolved issues with the yearbook ” and respected comments from both sides of the situation that allowed families to choose a yearbook cover that best reflects their views.
Supporters of the art teacher sent one online petition which collected more than 3,300 signatures on Friday afternoon.
‘The neighborhood action is sending the wrong message to our students,’ says the petition. “Censorship in journalism, simply because you disagree with the content, is not only unacceptable, but also dangerous.”
Carissa Neunherz, 13, who was one of the students who worked on the yearbook, told CBS, ‘To me, this just showed’ oh this is what happened in the last year, this happened and that happened, ‘so I found nothing wrong. ‘
The battle unfolding in North Texas high school is a microcosm of the debate raging across the country over critical race theory, the aftermath of last year’s Black Lives Matter protests across the country, and its introduction. of the New York Times 1619 project.
Its detractors argue that the theory indoctrinates children into thinking whites are inherently racist or sexist.
They claim it reduces people to the ‘privileged’ or ‘oppressed’ categories based on their skin color.
Four states – Montana, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Idaho – have banned critical race theory from school.
A handful of other states – including North Carolina, Texas, Arizona, Louisiana, Iowa, Missouri, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and West Virginia – are currently debating or passing similar bills.
Three Republican-led states have now signed laws banning critical racial theory in public schools and nearly a dozen others are currently trying to pass similar bills that block or restrict participation in curricula.
CRITICAL RACING THEORY: WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
The struggle for critical racial theory in schools has escalated in the United States over the past year.
The theory has sparked fierce nationwide debate in the wake of last year’s Black Lives Matter protests across the country and the introduction of the 1619 project.
Published by the New York Times in 2019 to mark 400 years since the first enslaved Africans arrived on American shores, the 1619 project reshapes American history through “ the consequences of slavery and to place the contributions of black Americans in the center of the US. story’.
The debate surrounding critical race theory concerns the concern that some children are being indoctrinated into thinking that whites are inherently racist or sexist.
Those opposed to critical race theory have argued that it reduces people to the ‘privileged’ or ‘oppressed’ categories based on their skin color.
However, proponents say the theory is vital for eradicating racism, as it explores the ways in which race affects American politics, culture, and the law.