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Reinstate Matthew Hawn - Fired for Teaching about White Privilege

Tennessee teacher Matthew Hawn was fired in May this year, after he’d assigned an article by Ta-Nehisi Coates, “The First White President,” and showed Kyla Jenée Lacey’s poem “White Privilege” to students in his contemporary issues class at Sullivan Central High School in Blountville, TN. In the wake of last summer’s worldwide Black Lives Matter protests—and after the uprising over the police shooting of Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man in Kenosha, WI—Hawn wanted to explore the topic of white privilege with his students. He was silenced for teaching truth.

Today, December 14th, Hawn will appear before the Sullivan County Board of Education for his third reinstatement appeal hearing. AAPF Co-founder and Executive Director Kimberlé Crenshaw, Kyla Jenée Lacey, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and other activists will be on hand in support of Hawn’s appeal. Hawn had taught in Blountville, TN, for 16 years; he had no disciplinary record, and was widely admired among his students and within his community. He’s only been dismissed because, like scores of other teachers and administrators throughout the country, he’s run afoul of the raging disinformation campaign censoring critical race theory and the teaching of race and racism in our schools.


A climate of fear is overtaking America’s schools, government agencies, businesses, and civil society. Education as a public service is at risk. Our multiracial democracy is at risk. Racial justice discourse is under attack. States and school boards are compelling educators to whitewash their materials and methods at the cost of their careers. Racism runs rampant in schoolhouses and in state legislatures; as has been the case throughout our histories, scaremongers, political opportunists and bigots have seized upon our public schools in order to oppress, manipulate, and miseducate the general public.

Hawn will go into this hearing realizing that the odds are stacked against his reinstatement. THESE SHOULD NOT BE THE ODDS.

Call to Action: If you marched last year for George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, if your eyes were opened by what you have seen and learned about race and racism in our society, if you have witnessed the value of anti-racist education in your own and in your children’s lives, then join AAPF and #TruthBeTold. Come together in support of Matthew Hawn and all other educators as we continue to voice our strongest opposition to the attempts to censor classroom discussions of structural racism, sexism, and inequalities that permeate our society. More than a hashtag, #TruthBeTold is our commitment to developing critical thinking that supports students to better understand problems in our society.

Reporter Roundtable | Matthew Hahn Press Briefing, 12/13/21

Roundtable: Matthew Hawn, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Kyla Jenée Lacey, Ta-Nehisi Coates, LaKenya Middlebrook, and Andre Banks (moderator)

Local Hearing Information

Tuesday, December 14, 2021 | 4:30pm ET

Sullivan County Board of Education

154 Blountville Bypass, P.O. Box 306, Blountville, TN 37617

Watch the Hearing Live on Facebook

Tuesday, December 14, 2021 | 4:30pm ET

In Solidarity,

AAPF and the #TruthBeTold Campaign

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11 comentários

cie kalyl
cie kalyl
08 de abr.

Educators should have the freedom Strands to explore challenging and thought-provoking topics with their students without fear of retribution.


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