Katelyne Thomas Wiki
Katelyne Thomas Biography
A Michigan special education teacher, Katelyne Thomas, resigned after saying district officials refused to discuss diversity and racial issues in class.
Katelyne Thomas taught grades 1-5
Katelyne Thomas taught grades 1-5 for three years, but her last day was Friday.
Southern Michigan Public Schools Mason refused to silence details
Southern Michigan Public Schools Mason refused to silence Thomas, saying that the material they wanted to use in the classroom had not been reviewed and that alternative material had been provided.
In January, Thomas suggested that the district could include materials for Black History Month provided by Black Lives Matter at School, a national coalition that campaigns for racial justice in education.
The group urged educators across the country to use the first week of February to focus each day on different themes, including restorative justice, diversity and globalism, affirming trans and queer families, black and black villages. intergenerational and the cheeky being black.
Thomas made the suggestion in an email to Mason’s Board of Education, the executive director, and their heads: the director of special education and the school principal.
“In the email there was a direct link to Black Lives Matter at the school, the organization, and I decided there were some really good resources there. I think that would be one thing. Really positive, ”she says. “If Mason Public Schools supported this great action, it would be a very strong message to our community and all stakeholders involved.”
But Thomas said the idea was quickly rejected by district officials, where state data shows that about 2% of students and 1% of staff are black.
She said that she was instructed to attend a meeting with her manager in which she was verbally reprimanded for violating the district’s policy on controversial matters, which she defines as “a matter in which points of contrary opinion are promulgated. for responsible opinions ”.
The guide allows discussion in class, as long as the topic is “related to the educational objectives of the study program and the level of maturity of the students” and “does not tend to indoctrinate or persuade students to adopt a particular point of view . ”.
Mason Public Schools Superintendent Ronald Drzewicki declined to respond to Thomas’ resignation, but denied that he was not allowed to discuss diversity and inclusion in the classroom. He said in a statement that the district is reviewing all programs before approving them for the class.
“This process is time consuming and should be followed to verify correctness and consider the age-appropriate nature of the content before providing information to students,” Drzewicki said. “To say that the district would deny a staff member the opportunity to discuss diversity in the classroom is simply not true.”