SEVERE WX : Wind Advisory - High Wind Warning - Flash Flood Watch - Flood Watch View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

SchoolWatch: Oregon school employee placed on leave after district says they showed up in blackface

Newberg Public Schools released a statement saying that an employee was placed on leave after reporting for work in blackface.

Posted: Sep 20, 2021 12:57 PM
Updated: Sep 20, 2021 2:56 PM

NEWBERG, Ore. — An employee of a public school district located southwest of Portland was placed on leave last Friday after showing up to work wearing blackface, according to district officials.

Newberg Public Schools said the employee was removed from school and placed on administrative leave by the district's Human Resources department.

"The administration of Newberg Public Schools condemns all expressions of racism," the District said in a statement. "It is important to remember how Blackface has been used to misrepresent Black communities and do harm. We acknowledge the violence this represents and the trauma it evokes regardless of intention."

The Newberg Graphic reported Monday that the employee was a special education assistant at Mabel Rush Elementary School, who showed up "calling herself Rosa Parks" in protest against the state's vaccine mandate for K-12 school staff.

Over the past several months, Newberg Public Schools has become a flashpoint for culture war issues in Oregon. In August, the school board narrowly voted to ban "political symbols," including Black Lives Matter and Pride flags, which received condemnation from the Oregon State Board of Education.

“Now more than ever, we must work to ensure that our schools are safe and welcoming spaces for every student. We know that has not always been the case – in particular for our students of color, Indigenous, Tribal citizens, immigrants, English learners, and LGBTQ2SIA+ students, as well as our students who experience disability,” said Oregon Department of Education Director Colt Gill. “Student identity should be supported and celebrated, and we must recognize the unique needs and perspectives that our students bring.”

Just hours before the Newberg school board was to meet and discuss its ban on political symbols this month, the news broke that some students of Newberg High School were participating in a Snapchat group called "Slave Trade," where students ostensibly joked about how much they would pay for their Black classmates in a slave auction, among other racist topics.

In its statement on Monday, Newberg Public schools said that incident reports are taken seriously and they diligently follow policies to investigate "and take appropriate action."

"We continue to work towards a safe and welcoming environment in our schools that is free from bullying, and reduces mental, emotional, and physical harm," the District said. "Blackface has no place in our schools, and we are committed to the work of created spaces where every student belongs as we move forward together in our mission of educating students."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 356061

Reported Deaths: 4275
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah55695704
Washington38673322
Marion36719454
Clackamas29660309
Lane27624302
Jackson22982310
Deschutes20211125
Umatilla14451150
Linn12780130
Douglas12065243
Josephine9349196
Yamhill8674113
Klamath7965118
Polk733681
Malheur561776
Benton546531
Coos501294
Columbia379744
Jefferson372352
Union318449
Lincoln318039
Crook287546
Wasco287441
Clatsop243329
Baker202529
Tillamook196432
Hood River192137
Morrow184423
Curry180025
Harney113726
Grant100013
Lake92412
Wallowa68612
Gilliam1544
Sherman1503
Wheeler1121
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4842472

Reported Deaths: 71202
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles148181426506
Riverside3712935030
San Diego3660564183
San Bernardino3582135663
Orange3241845550
Sacramento1593332308
Kern1459621644
Fresno1458772084
Santa Clara1453911896
Alameda1205301400
San Joaquin1025821721
Ventura1009841166
Contra Costa998841008
Stanislaus860701331
Tulare80203967
San Francisco54375646
San Mateo54112622
Monterey50885587
Solano46021341
Santa Barbara45160523
Merced42299581
Sonoma40925402
Placer39342425
Imperial35999766
Kings32801322
San Luis Obispo29945332
Madera23876285
Shasta23851352
Butte23738270
Santa Cruz21018220
Yolo20353248
Marin17692244
El Dorado17169149
Sutter13913175
Napa12882100
Yuba1008582
Tehama9510110
Humboldt9243108
Nevada914290
Mendocino763687
Lassen754347
San Benito744472
Tuolumne688089
Lake6605104
Amador544064
Siskiyou450546
Glenn436733
Calaveras389381
Del Norte358342
Colusa307218
Inyo211140
Mono16703
Plumas16417
Mariposa133416
Trinity87711
Modoc6865
Sierra1880
Unassigned1820
Alpine1030
Out of CA00
Medford
Cloudy
58° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 58°
Brookings
Cloudy
53° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 53°
Crater Lake
Cloudy
58° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 58°
Grants Pass
Cloudy
58° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 58°
Klamath Falls
Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 50°
Showers and cool Friday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events