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Mason parents demand school district repeal controversial topics policy that led teacher to resign

Posted at 6:59 PM, Mar 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-02 18:59:11-05

MASON, Mich. — A group of Mason parents and residents are demanding the school district repeal a policy that led a teacher to resign last week.

Katelyne Thomas left North Aurelius Elementary after getting pushback from district administrators for wanting to teach a curriculum curated by the organization Black Lives Matter at School.

District officials told Thomas the material violated Mason Public Schools’ controversial topics policy.

“The school district cannot continue to say that they are neutral on topics of race and diversity, said Rhiannon Klein, one of the parents who spoke at a Mason school school board meeting on Monday in support of Thomas “It is unacceptable and it’s harmful to families of color living in Mason.”

Kaisha Young, FOX 47 News, 2021
The entrance sign at North Aurelius Elementary School in Mason.

Klein said that, as a parent with a child who is going to enter the Mason public schools "it’s an internal struggle for me to think that the school system that I’m sending my child to is actively squelching the voices of teachers who want to make change."

She along with more than 20 other parents signed a letter to the school board asking it to revoke the policy and either issue an apology to Mason families or resign.

The group also wants to replace the school district’s diversity committee co-chairs with Mason teachers and have the curriculum Thomas tried to teach formally added to lesson plans.

“There is this underlying issue in Mason and it’s something that has been swept to the side,” Klein said. “Our school system is where I feel personally these issues are germinating and I think that that needs to be addressed in a very open and transparent way by the school board and by the school administration.”

Mason Public Schools officials said only that they have received the letter and are reviewing the requests.

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Hannah McIlree

5:13 PM, Nov 14, 2022

Mason, Leslie

Neighborhood Reporter

Hannah McIlree