Texas Teacher Placed on Leave After Displaying Equality Posters in Virtual Classroom
An English teacher in Roma was placed on leave after parents complained about posters displayed in her virtual classroom.
According to a report from the Texas Tribune, Taylor Lifka, a teacher at Roma High school faced backlash from parents and the school, due to posters placed in her virtual classroom.
The posters in question promoted equality, and had positive messages such as:
- "DIVERSE, INCLUSIVE, ACCEPTING, WELCOMING, SAFE SPACE FOR EVERYONE"
- Amiga, tu lucha, es mi lucha (Friend, your struggle is my struggle)
- Black Lives Matter
Lifka also asked students to message their name and preferred pronoun in the class chatroom.
Somehow, these uplifting and positive messages were turned against Lifka and the teacher was placed on leave by the school when she refused to remove the posters.
“This action was not intended to reflect any form of punishment or admonishment towards Ms. Lifka but was purely driven by a need to review the circumstances and come to a sound resolution for all persons involved,” the Roma Independent School District said in a statement Wednesday.
The students of Roma High School disagree with RISD's decision to place Lifka on leave, and wrote a letter in support of their teacher.
The letter states, "We cannot, in good faith, allow for this exemplary educator to be placed on leave for trying to create a welcoming environment."
Lifka's leave has since been lifted, but Lifka does not plan to return until changes are made to "support anti-racist policies and tolerance in our classrooms."
“If I just reenter the classroom without any further discussion or action of how is this going to change in our community, then what was all this for?” Lifka stated.
What are your thoughts? What should have been done differently on either side?