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Oregon school district reprimands employee who came to work in blackface By Reuters


(Reuters) – An Oregon school district on Monday placed an employee on administrative leave for coming to work in blackface, reportedly to protest a COVID-19 vaccine requirement.

Newberg Public Schools released a statement saying that the employee was expelled from her workplace and placed on leave while the investigation takes place.

The Newberg Graphic reports that a staff member from Mabel Rush Elementary School made Rosa Parks’s face darken to protest a COVID-19 vaccination requirement.

It is crucial to recall how Blackface was used to denigrate Black communities and cause harm. “We acknowledge the violence it represents, and the trauma that it evokes without regard to intent,” said the statement from the school district.

According to the school district statement, “all expressions racism” were condemned and administrators will “take appropriate actions after an investigation,” but it did not give further details.

Blackface has been worn by whites since slavery to mock Black slaves.

Unspokesperson for the school district was not available to comment on a request.

Newberg’s school board issued an order banning the use of Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ flags last month. Local media reports that the Newberg school board was forced to reconsider its decision due to opposition. Newberg lies approximately 20 miles (30km) south of Portland.

A Newberg High School student was also found participating in the national Snapchat group “Slave Trade”. This joked about selling Black classmates to slaves. The Graphic reported this, using screenshots and reports from fellow classmates.

According to the Graphic, other violent, homophobic, and racist language was used in the chat.

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