2 Women Lose Jobs Over Black Lives Matter Masks

One a teacher, one a Whataburger employee, both in Texas
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 30, 2020 4:00 AM CDT
2 Women Lose Jobs Over Black Lives Matter Masks
Erika Cooper waves a Black Lives Matter flag across the street from a Pro-America rally, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, near the Vigo County Courthouse in Terre Haute, Ind.   (Joseph C. Garza/The Tribune-Star via AP)

A Texas art teacher was fired for refusing to adhere to the school's dress code—by continuing to wear her Black Lives Matter mask. Lillian White, 32, says the assistant headmaster at Great Hearts Western Hills, a public K-12 charter school, instructed her to stop wearing the mask because "we don't discuss the current political climate on campus." She was then sent home on four occasions, and ultimately terminated Sept. 5, she tells NBC News. White had also, the month prior, started an online petition urging the school to implement an anti-racism education plan and a more diverse curriculum after what she says was "over a month of fruitlessly urging" administrators to do so.

The superintendent's take is a bit different; he tells CNN the school has a policy that no external messages whatsoever can be on face masks. "The administration of the school worked with Ms. White for weeks, reminding her of the dress code and providing remote work assignments. When at last she wrote to the administration that she would not comply with the dress code, the school was advised by counsel that she had effectively resigned her position by stating that intention and the school so informed her." White points out that she never actually quit or submitted her resignation. Last week, another Texas woman said she was fired by Whataburger for wearing a Black Lives Matter mask on the job, the Washington Post reports. (More Black Lives Matter stories.)

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