A Texas middle school art teacher has been placed on administrative leave as the district investigates complaints about a yearbook cover that includes words such as “Black Lives Matter” and “I Can’t Breathe.”
Several parents are said to have expressed their displeasure with some of the references.
The Dallas Morning News reported that Kayla Mick, who teaches at Downing Middle School in Flower Mound, approved the artwork seen on the back of the book, which was chosen by eighth-graders.
According to the newspaper, Mick is on paid administrative leave.
Her profile on the school’s website describes her as the “Art & Yearbook Teacher.”
The News report continued:
The district is reviewing the circumstances surrounding the design of the yearbook before taking further action. LISD spokeswoman Amanda Brim said it would be “inaccurate” to say Mick was placed on leave as a result of parent complaints, but she declined to give further details, citing the ongoing review.
“It is our best hope that all of our teachers connect with students in a way that makes them feel safe and creates a sense of belonging in every classroom,” Brim said. “Having said that, we expect staff to remain neutral while engaging students in these conversations, in accordance with district policy.”
The back cover also features references to the 2020 election, video games, and TikTok, CBS 11 reported Thursday.
Several parents reportedly voiced disagreement online with some of the references, according to the outlet.
“I don’t feel like schools should be forcing anyone’s political views on anyone,” one person wrote.
“There should’ve been a MAGA sticker and an ‘all lives matter’ sticker on there, if they are going to put political stickers then balance it out,” another said.
In a statement regarding the issue, the Lewisville Independent School District (LISD) said, “We are taking time to ensure we fully review the circumstances surrounding the design of the yearbook and that we have all the facts before any further action is considered.”
Almost 3,000 individuals have signed an online petition asking the district not to punish the art teacher, according to the CBS article, adding the Lewisville ISD is giving parents the opportunity to get another yearbook with an alternate cover if they wish.