A California elementary school has placed an employee on leave after she allegedly sent an anti-Asian message to students’ parents.
In a message sent to the parents of Baldy View Elementary School students on Jan. 31, the unnamed employee of Upland Unified School District (UUSD) said that they would not join in the school’s Lunar New Year celebrations, reported KTLA.
Referencing the Chinese Communist Party, the message read, “The school wants everyone to wear red tomorrow (Feb. 1) but I disagree and do not support the CCP.”
“I am sorry and disagree. China gave us this Covid and will not wear red. Parents you need to wake up!” the message went on.
Wearing red during Lunar New Year celebrations has long been associated with good luck in many Asian cultures, including the Chinese.
Dianna Ho-Merlino, the parent-teacher association president for a different UUSD school, spoke out against the messages as she found them to be “unacceptable” and a form of “psychological abuse.” She also shared that at least one of the staff member’s students was not even given her “little daily rewards” for wearing a red Lunar New Year shirt.
UUSD Superintendent Lynn J. Carmen Day confirmed that a staff member used a school messaging app to share “hurtful and offensive messages about China and COVID-19,” reported the Sacramento Bee.
Day, who said officials found out about the messages on Feb. 1, said that the employee – whose name and position remained unidentified in her statement – was then immediately put on leave.
Upon learning about the message, school officials “informed [the] entire district about the incident in order to send a clear message that any disparaging statements about race, nationality, ethnicity or any dimension of diversity will not be tolerated.”
“We just want to reiterate that our values are about diversity, being inclusive, making everybody feel like they belong here, and really, that safety and well-being, we work really hard for students to feel that that peace and well-being, so this really just doesn’t align with that,” said UUSD Director Of Communications Liz Pinney-Muglia. “Again, it will not be tolerated in our district.”
Featured Image via KTLA