• Richard Easson

Teacher Warns Colleagues They'll be 'Fired' if They Don't Become 'Anti-Racist'

An Oregon eighth grade humanities teacher warned her colleagues on a Zoom conference that they'll be "fired" if they don't "come to the light" and become "anti-racist."

The teacher at Cedar Park Middle School, Katherine Watkins, opened up her part of the discussion wearing what looked like African-inspired clothing and accessories and introduced herself with the pronouns "she, her, we and, us."

If that isn't strange enough for you, she then went on to say "I'm not gonna say something' that's not nice and not sweet, but it's true," followed by her speech:

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.

According to Watkins' LinkedIn page, she's a self-proclaimed "Antiracist Educator" who is "Racial Trauma Informed."

The longer version of the conference was posted to the YouTube channel Parents Defending Education. According to the video's description, the session took place in February and was titled "Equity ABAR Summit: If Not You Then Who?" The description also says ABAR stands for "anti-bias, anti-racism" and is relative to critical race theory.

Here's the clip from the Zoom call: