This really pisses me off – just another example of Black Lives Matter ruining an innocent person’s life because something he said doesn’t agree with their misguided narrative.
Theo Olson, who has been teaching special ed at inner city schools in Saint Paul, Minnesota for 16 years, took to Facebook to vent about the problems he saw at Como Park Senior High in regard to a lack of discipline, accountability, and support from the administration in dealing with troubled teens:
“Phones and iPad devices, used for social media and gaming. There have always been rules for ‘devices,’ and defined levels of misconduct. Since we now have no backup, no functional location to send kids who won’t quit gaming, setting up fights, selling drugs, whoring trains, or cyber bullying, we’re screwed, just designing our own classroom rules. Hopefully tomorrow’s settlement will begin to fix this.”
When BLM members saw his post they unleashed hell. Assuming that he was talking about black students (even though his post said absolutely nothing about race or color), they began a crusade to get the veteran teacher fired.
Local BLM ringleader Rashad Anthony Turner called Olson “the epitome of a bad teacher” and “an example of a white supremacist teacher.” He blamed Olson for bringing down the reputation of all teachers in the district and accused him of not caring for his students.
Do you want to know what I see when I look at Olson’s post? I see a teacher who cares about his students and is frustrated with a broken system. A teacher who is tired of a culture that encourages his students to settle. A teacher who knows his kids can be more and achieve more and who isn’t okay just watching them fade into gangs, prison, or the welfare system.
But that’s not what BLM saw, because they put on their SJW blinders and refused to actually consider what Olson was saying.
And now he’s gone.
After BLM activists threatened “a shutdown action” over Olson’s comments the school ordered Olson to complete “racial equity training” and docked his pay. Then, when that wasn’t enough, they gave him notice that he would not be allowed to teach at Como Park this year.
“Administrative transfer does not imply that you have engaged in any misconduct,” the letter stated, but “it is in the best interests of the district.”
The real kicker in all of this is that Olson had actually been a supporter of BLM in the past and had even marched with Turner in a protest.
In a statement about his firing Olson said, “Probably the worst thing was to lose contact with my students and colleagues at Como, and seeing my reputation damaged. My family has endured hate speech going on three months. After 16 years, participating in Saint Paul initiatives to lower the egregious disparities between white students and students of color, English language learners, poverty, special ed, disability, and reaching out to GLBTQ and transgender students, it’s been a nightmare to be characterized as insensitive in any way, racially or otherwise.”
This is the kind of teacher we need in our schools, especially our inner city schools; but if BLM has their way, good teachers – teachers who push their students and refuse to let them become a statistic – will be a thing of the past.
H/T: Heat Street, City Pages