We recently posted a link from March about Sullivan County Central High School social studies teacher Matthew Hawn, who was reprimanded officially for having his social studies class read “The First White President” – an article by Ta-Nehisi Coates in The Atlantic.
The Board of Education voted 6-0 to uphold the written reprimand of the 16-year tenured teacher & assistant baseball coach.
The article also says Hawn was verbally warned last fall about a video he made about white privilege, the existence of which conservatives generally hate to acknowledge, especially in a school that’s almost entirely white.
We’ve now spoken with a source who tells us the story does not end there, and that in fact Hawn has been hit with a letter recommending his termination in the wake of another incident brought to the attention of school brass by the same student and their parent, who took exception to a lesson taught by Hawn involving a female poet Kyla Janae Lacey who used language the source says was almost entirely censored.
The source says Hawn received the letter within hours of Tennessee Republicans passing their bill to censor what Tennessee teachers can teach about race and systemic racism – because if anyone should be deciding what can and can’t be said about those topics, it’s the group of almost entirely white legislators who refuse to remove the KKK GRAND WIZARD bust from our capitol, and the Governor who was found to have dressed up in a Confederate solider outfit in college.
Republicans love to complain about “Censorship!” and “Overreach!”, yet here they are over-reaching into our classrooms to censor our teachers, paying lip service to banning Critical Race Theory when very few of them can even describe what exactly it is. (Definitely don’t ask Justin Lafferty of Knoxville, who made national news painting the 3/5ths compromise as some sort of heroism during discussion of this very bill)
The letter Hawn received was a recommendation for termination, which means the final decision once again lands with the Sullivan County School Board, which meets June 8th. They should expect company, as Coach Hawn clearly has supporters.
If you believe this sort of censorship and overreach in our classrooms has gone too far, show up at the school board meeting to support him, and HOLLER AT the board HERE.