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A public high school teacher in Texas says administrators told him to remove a Black Lives Matter poster that was hanging in his classroom.
“There are rules. It was a directive to take the sign down, and by not, I’m going against that directive. But it’s wrong. It’s wrong of my school’s administration, my principal, and my district to side with racism,” Timber Creek High School’s animation, audio/video production, and arts of communication teacher, Dan Grunewald, told WFAA.
Grunewald said he was asked twice by school administrators to remove the BLM poster since he put it on a classroom wall last fall. He declined to remove the poster both times.
He also added in his interview that he was not asked to remove a gay pride poster from his classroom.
“I was told that Black Lives Matter is a controversial statement, which is simply not something I agree with,” Grunewald said. “I figure it is a small gesture that I can make to my students of color that I see them. And they are valued and respected, not just in my classroom, but even those walking by, that I see them and value them.”
Grunewald said the administrators told him he could put the BLM poster flat on his desk, which he plans to do when he heads to the classroom on Wednesday.
“As educators, it’s our job to expose students to other ways of thinking. Not to force our views. Not to say that the kids need to go home and say something to their parents. That’s not our place. But our place is to show that there is more than one view in the world,” Grunewald said.
The Keller Independent School District said in a comment to Fox News of the poster that “the District has routinely asked employees to remove items posted on classroom walls that are considered expressions of personal beliefs.”
“District Board Policy EMB Local states that ‘teachers shall not use the classroom to transmit personal beliefs regarding political or sectarian issues,’ and the District has routinely asked employees to remove items posted on classroom walls that are considered expressions of personal beliefs. Keller ISD and Timber Creek High School encourage our teachers to create a classroom culture that respects diversity of our school community through a culture of understanding, and it is our expectation that they do so without visual representations of their own personal beliefs on classroom walls,” a Keller ISD spokesperson said.
The incident follows a viral video of a 9-year-old girl in Minnesota slamming her school district for displaying BLM posters, despite a rule of “no politics in school.”
“When I was here two weeks ago, you told us to report any BLM in our schools. Apparently, you know they’re in our schools because you made [them],” the young girl told the Lakeville Area School Board on June 8 .
“It is a political message about getting rid of police officers, rioting, burning buildings down, while King Gov. Walz just sits on his throne and watches,” she added.
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