On Nov. 8, I was officially blacklisted from substitute teaching at Clovis West High School for wearing a pin that read “Black Lives Matter.” This action was taken by the school’s administration even after I agreed to not wear it. The administration contends that wearing the pin violated their policy of being neutral regarding political matters.
The Performance Report that led to my being blacklisted says I was wearing a “political button.”
A pin that reads “Black Lives Matter” is not a political statement. It is a moral statement. It’s about morality. It is meant to focus attention on the racism that pervades many of our institutions, as evidenced by the numerous killings of young black males seen in the media over the last few years. It is a peaceful request to end this violence.
It is not a protest. It is not intended to be anti-police. It does not imply that black lives matter more than other lives. It simply says they matter too. The students at Clovis West understand this concept. Many of them came up to thank me for wearing the pin and caring about their welfare. I will truly miss being able to teach these students.
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David Roberts, Fresno