A Rhode Island Teacher who expressed public concern about Critical Race Theory (CRT) in the school was threatened by a student and placed on leave by her school district.
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After sounding the alarm over critical race theory, teacher English teacher Ramona Bessinger was involuntarily transferred from her teaching role at Providence Middle School to Classical High School. Then, following a police report filed by the teacher after a threat of violence from a student, Bessinger was placed on paid leave.
In July 2021, the teacher penned an op-ed claiming the Providence Public School District’s new curriculum divided students based on race.
Bessinger noted that the curriculum portrays an oppressor vs. oppressed narrative.
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“This past 2020/21 school year was a sad and worrisome turning point for me as an educator. Providence K-8 teachers were introduced to one of the most racially divisive, hateful, and in large part, historically inaccurate curriculums I have ever seen in my teaching career,” Bessinger said in the op-ed published by Legal Insurrection.
Bessinger also added that with the new curriculum, she was no longer allowed to teach about the holocaust. When she questioned this, Bessinger wrote that she was told “we do not teach the Holocaust because kids can’t relate to the story.”
Bessinger also noted that teachers were encouraged to attend “white affinity educator groups” to learn how to fight white supremacy in their classrooms.
Bessinger claims that after she wrote the op-ed, false accusations were made against her and she had to attend a pre-disciplinary administrative hearing for allegedly allowing a student to leave the classroom during a lockdown, per the Daily Wire.
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Bessinger denied the allegation.
When she was transferred from the middle school to a high school in the district following the op-ed, Bessinger was not given a classroom but was ordered to work in a windowless basement.
The Daily Wire reports that Bessinger filed a formal grievance about the situation. Later, when she was finally given a classroom, she faced harassment from students and other teachers who organized a walkout to protest Bessinger’s teaching.
“It appears my students are being lead by activist mob teachers who tell them I am racist and transphobic. Of course nothing of the sort is true. I care deeply for all my students, and respect their individual rights, and beliefs. This is a targeted attack by the crazy 10% woke mob that influence children using fear and bullying techniques,” Bessinger said in a statement.
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As the situation continued, a student allegedly yelled at her saying “F–k you, f–k you. I want to kill you.” Following the incident, Bessinger filed a police report and notified the school district.
Days later, she received a notice she was to be placed on paid leave while an investigation occurs.