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.
Highlights from our first ever TENNESSEE HOLLER FEST, featuring inspiring voices from across the state lifting up the issues we face – including STELLA PARTON, JUSTIN JONES, REP. JIM COOPER, REP. STEVE COHEN, THE EQUITY ALLIANCE and much more.
Here’s a quick highlight reel.
Today’s episode of the New York Times “The Daily” podcast is called “Rural Tennessee’s Vaccine Hesitators”, and it’s all about vaccine hesitancy in GREENEVILLE, Tennessee – a community hard-hit by COVID where vaccine intake is exceptionally low compared to nationwide standards.
In general, Tennessee is at the bottom when it comes to vaccine intake, in large part thanks to a lack of leadership by Governor Lee, who made little fanfare of getting the vaccine himself, and has promised a marketing campaign to encourage folks to get the vaccine that has never materialized.
The Daily episode talks to doctor Daniel Lewis, a much-respected Greeneville doctor who nearly died of COVID, and has been doing his best to encourage folks in the area to get the shots.
“Are you worried BLACK PLAYERS won’t come to Tennessee? Why didn’t you go talk to the players about WHY they were kneeling?”
We asked Senators Rusty Crowe & Jon Lundberg about Coach Shay being forced out of ETSU (by boosters & TNGOP) for standing with his players.
State Representative Gloria Johnson talks with Christina Henry, a teacher in Anderson County, Tennessee whose husband is in critical care for COVID in Kentucky, and whose brother-in-law recently passed away from COVID, also both teachers. Tennessee is now the worst place in the world to be for COVID19 under the poor leadership of Governor Bill Lee. Christina and Representative Johnson talk about how the different responses between Governor Andy Beshear of Kentucky and our own Governor Lee have affected the health outcomes of the residents of each respective state.
CLIP: "My heart is telling me that the reason my husband was able to get a spot on an ECMO in Kentucky is because of the early measures that were put in place."
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) December 22, 2020
Knox County Commissioner Courtney Durrett joins to talk with Representative Gloria Johnson about an insidious effort to effectively dissolve the Knox County Board of Health and create a new “advisory” board of brand new members who don’t have the experience dealing with the COVID19 crisis that the current members have. The first meeting for this ordinance will be held Monday, December 21.
CLIP ? "This ordinance gets rid of the current Knox County Board of Health" in the middle of the #COVID19 crisis.@DurrettCourtney & @VoteGloriaJ talk about an insidious effort to effectively dissolve the Knox Co. Board of Health on #StandingTall.
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) December 15, 2020
State Representative Gloria Johnson is back with an episode talking about the heart and soul of a campaign: the person who manages it. Hailey Shastid joins to talk about her experience managing Rep Johnson’s campaign and how she fell in love with organizing in her community.
LISTEN ? "It's so much fun teaching people that what they care about matters & there are other people out there that care about it."@VoteGloriaJ talks w/ her former campaign manager, @ShastidHailey, about the power of community organizing.
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) November 24, 2020