HomeCommunity IssuesAsAm Principal faces microaggressions, say POC teachers

AsAm Principal faces microaggressions, say POC teachers

BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color) staff members at Errol Hassell Elementary School in Oregon are raising concerns about the racism Principal Cynthia Lam Moffett is facing.

According to Fox News, BIPOC staff members at emailed school administrators stating they believed Principal Cynthia Lam Moffett was the victim of microaggressions.

Fox News obtained a copy of the email, which the staff members wrote when they heard rumors that Principal Moffett might be fired. Fox News has been the only news outlet to report on the story so far. The news agency did not receive comments from administrators, the signatories of the email or the superintendent.

In the email, the staff members described examples of the microaggressions directed toward Moffett.

“We believe that much of the resistance to Principal Moffett’s work… is a result of bias and targeted aggression. As BIPOC educators we have observed, experienced, and witnessed similar micro and macro aggressions,” the email read, according to Fox News.

The email also claimed that Moffett was often loudly interrupted by staff members during meetings. BIPOC staff members noted that Moffett was “held responsible for addressing and solving situations of racism in which she is a victim.” They added that other staff members worked directly with Moffett’s superiors to solve issues in-house.

According to the email, Moffett was not the only target of racism. White staff members at the school have allegedly often referred to a group of BIPOC staff members as “a gang.”

The staff members praised Moffett for supporting the school’s 21-Day Social Justice Challenge. Moffett had come under criticism in the media for the challenge.

A parent named Jeff Myers told Newsweek he asked that his daughter was forced to sit out of the 10-minute assemblies associated with the challenge for two days because he was concerned about a lack of transparency over the curriculum.

Myers had previously participated in a lengthy email conversation with Moffett, the district’s Deputy Superintendent Ginny Hansmann, and the Executive Administrator for Elementary Schools Patrick Meigs in January about the challenge.

Moffett had shared some of the course materials with Myers but he was not satisfied. He claimed he wasn’t concerned about the course material but the conversations the class would have around the material. He was also upset that the school would not let him attend the learning sessions associated with the assemblies.

Beaverton School District Public Communications Officer Shellie Bailey-Shah told Newsweek that the situation was largely a misunderstanding.

“In terms of parent Jeff Myers, he filed a formal complaint with the district, asking to see—in addition to the videos that were already shared—related lesson plans and materials. During that process, Principal Moffet misunderstood his wishes and thought that he wanted to opt his daughter out of the 10-minute assemblies at the beginning of the day,” Bailey-Shah said.

“Therefore, his daughter did not participate for two days. However, when it was made clear to Principal Moffett that that wasn’t Mr. Myers’ intent, his daughter returned to class to participate in the daily assemblies. Principal Moffet has acknowledged the error,” she continued.

It is unclear whether Moffett is at risk of being fired. AsAmNews will continue to follow this story as it develops.

AsAmNews is incorporated in the state of California as Asian American Media, Inc and has an application for non-profit 501c3 status with the IRS pending. Check out our Instagram account. Go to our Twitter feed and Facebook page for more content. Please consider interning, joining our staff, or submitting a story, or making a  financial contribution. We are committed to the highest ethical standards in journalism. Please report any typos or errors to info at AsAmNews dot com.


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