Victor Skinner, EAG News, March 7, 2016
Black Lives Matter activists are threatening to shut down a St. Paul high school over a Facebook post made by a teacher the group’s members view as racist.
Failed school board candidate Rashad Turner, a leader with Black Lives Matter St. Paul, is calling Como Park Senior High special education teacher Theo Olson “the epitome of a bad teacher” and a “white supremacist” for recent comments posted to Facebook about the lack of discipline in St. Paul schools, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports.
Turner and other Black Lives Matter activists are calling on the school to fire the teacher immediately and initially threatened a “shut-down action” at Como Park on Monday if officials refuse to comply.
The threat of action was delayed for a scheduled meeting between Turner and district superintendent Valeria Silva set for today, according to the news site.
The Facebook posts made by Olson, which have since been taken down but remain as screenshots on Turner’s Facebook page, make absolutely no mention of race, but rather center on rampant student misconduct tied to the district’s highly controversial race-based approach to discipline.
“Anyone care to explain to me the school-to-prison pipeline my colleagues and I have somehow created, or perpetuated, or not done enough to interrupt? Because if you can’t prove it, and campaigns you’ve waged to deconstruct adult authority in my building by enabling student misconduct, you seriously owe us real teachers an apology,” Olson wrote in one post. “Actually, an apology won’t cut it.”
In a second post, Olson complained about “phones and iPad devices, used for social media and gaming.
“There have always been rules for ‘devices,’ and defined levels of misconduct. Since we now have no backup, no functional location to send kids who won’t quit gaming, setting up fights, selling drugs, whoring trains, or cyber bullying, we’re screwed, just designing our own classroom rules,” it continued.
To Turner, the posts were dripping with racism.
“(Facebook), meet Theodore Olson, the epitome of a bad teacher. An example of a white supremacist teacher. Another indication that we need more teachers of color and more teachers who care about and will teach all kids,” he wrote to Facebook.