An Oregon eighth-grade teacher was recorded on a Zoom video session warning fellow teachers they will be “fired” if they don’t “come to the light” and become “anti-racist.”
What are the details?
Katherine Watkins — a humanities teacher at Cedar Park Middle School in the Beaverton School District — was decked out in what appeared to be African-inspired garb as she introduced herself with the pronouns “she, her, we, and us.”
Then later in the session she declared, “I’m gonna say somethin’ that’s not nice and not sweet, but it’s true” — and then read her colleagues the riot act.
If you’re not evolving into an anti-racist educator, you’re making yourself obsolete. … Our district is only getting browner and browner [with respect to students]. … Obviously, you can’t change your melanin, all right? But you can change your mind so that you can actually function in a district that is full of BIPOC [black, indigenous, and people of color] children. So if you’re being resistant, I understand that. But you’re gonna have to eventually come to the light. Because if you’re going to keep with those old views of colonialism, it’s gonna lead to being fired. Because you’re going to be doing damage to our children — trauma. And so as we fire the teachers who sexually abuse our children, we will be firing the teachers who do racist things to our children and traumatize them. And while our district might not be completely on there, [the Oregon Education Association] is working on it, all right? [The National Education Association] is working on it. And so it’s just a matter of time; so it’s like you either evolve or dissolve.
Here’s the clip:
8th grade Portland, OR teacher has a message for her fellow teachers:
Teachers that DO NOT teach anti-racism are abusing children. Either start teaching anti-racism or the district will fire you.
(Notice how many of the other teachers on the call are nodding in agreement) pic.twitter.com/xlUrkeMCu6
— Mythinformed MKE (@MythinformedMKE) May 27, 2021
The Daily Caller said it reached out to the Beaverton School District for comment but did not receive a response at the time of publication.
Watkins’ LinkedIn page indicates she’s an “Antiracist Educator” who’s “Racial Trauma Informed” and also is a speaker and writer. She’s been a teacher since 1998, has taught in the Beaverton School District for more than 16 years, and holds master’s degrees in education and creative writing.
The above clip was taken from a longer session on adopting anti-racism in the district. At the beginning of the session Watkins introduces herself along with others. Later in the session — just after the 23-minute mark — she launches into her “not nice and not sweet” speech.
The group that posted the longer session to YouTube — Parents Defending Education — indicated in the clip’s description that the session took place in February and was titled “Equity ABAR Summit: If Not You Then Who?” The description said “ABAR” stands for “anti-bias, anti-racism” teaching related to critical race theory. And as TheBlaze has reported, many folks are pushing back hard against critical race theory.