According to a newly leaked video, a “woke” middle-school teacher in Oregon likened colleagues who aren’t actively “anti-racist” with pedophiles in a weird diatribe — and claimed they should be fired.
During a Zoom “equity conference” call with her peers, Katherine Watkins, an eighth-grade humanities teacher at Cedar Park Middle School south of Portland, made the extreme contrast.
In a videotape released by the conservative national advocacy group Parents Defending Education, the Beaverton School District instructor remarked, “I’m going to say something that’s not kind and not sweet, but it’s real.”
Watkins then lectured, “If you’re not maturing into an anti-racist educator, you’re making yourself obsolete in this field of profession.”
“Our district is getting browner and browner with our children, and you obviously can’t change your pigmentation, okay?”
“But you can adjust your perspective so that you can function in a district with a lot of BIPOC [black, indigenous, and people of color] kids,” she added in the February video conversation, which was recently made public.
“I understand if you’re resisting, but you’re going to have to come to the light eventually.”
Watkins went on to imply that teachers who disagree with her on race issues should be dismissed.
“Because if you continue to have those old colonial attitudes, you will be fired because you will be causing pain to our children,” she stated.
“As we terminate teachers who sexually abuse our children, we will also fire instructors who traumatize our children by doing racist things to them.”
“It’s only a question of time,” she continued. “As a result, it’s as though you’re either evolving or dissolving.”
The teacher’s Facebook profile pic shows her holding a raised clenched fist in front of a Black Lives Matter logo.
She includes links to send her money through cash.app, PayPal, and Venmo directly beneath the photograph, however, it’s unclear what the money is for.
In June 2020, she organized a fundraiser for Exit the Maze, a local “nonprofit” “human rights” organization, to which 13 people contributed a total of $655 towards her $5,000 target before she canceled the campaign.
According to Fox News, Watkins’ impassioned remarks came as another local educator, Stephanie Yelder, remarked on the call that white people must stand up against racism and channel the same zeal as the Capitol rioters.
The January 6 uprising against the 2020 presidential election results resulted in the deaths of five persons.
During the virtual equity meeting, Yelder stated, “My beloved white people.”
“Storm that Capitol with the same zeal as those foolish invaders, insurrectionists,” she advised. “Do things the way they do it.”
“They’re crazy, but you know what to do, so keep your cool.”
Detractors, on the other hand, were quick to attack both professors, accusing them of being racists.
One YouTube user called Watkins’ clip “the voice of black supremacism.”
“’Either you evolve or dissolve,’ is code for ‘Either you step in line with the opinions we’re espousing, or we’ll remove you from the equation,’” another critic snarled.
“I am fiercely opposed to any sort of discrimination, including intolerance towards those who have conservative values, as well as any sort of racism,” a third participant added.
“However, this woman’s strategy is ideal for raising enrolment in private and parochial schools that are not compelled by the government to engage in the bigoted behavior she advocates.”
When the video initially surfaced online last month, the Beaverton School District sought to disassociate itself from the teachers in a statement to Fox News.
“Katherine Watkins speaks for the Beaverton School District, not the Beaverton School District.” The statement added, “She has no official role in the district’s equality efforts.”
“State laws and our collective bargaining agreements with our unions, Beaverton Education Association (BEA) and Oregon School Employees Association (OSEA), regulate all disciplinary or dismissal procedures.”
“Stephanie Yelder was not speaking for the district; she was expressing her own opinions,” a district representative noted.
“Under no circumstances does the district condone the use of violence or property destruction.”
Shellie Bailey-Shah, the same district spokesperson, attempted to defend Watkins to Newsweek.
“We hear Ms. Watkins voice her expectation that all of our educators engage in true anti-bias, anti-racist work for the benefit of our students in the comments,” the district representative stated.
“Institutional leaders have been urged to reconsider their involvement in the persistence of implicit bias and systemic racism during the last year. It’s no different in the Beaverton School District. It is our responsibility to detect and correct inequitable practices that negatively impact our students and employees of color.”
- Katherine Watkins: YouTube