Taunting and threatening messages were put on Bessinger’s classroom whiteboard, and then photos of the messages were tweeted at her, while her “pre-disciplinary” hearing was an aggressive inquisition trying to put words in her mouth.
On Sunday evening, October 10, 2021, we reported on the targeting by Providence (RI) school officials of Ramona Bessinger, Providence Schools Move To Terminate Critical Race Whistleblower Teacher Ramona Bessinger.
Please read that post for background on how Bessinger blew the whistle on a racialized new school curriculum that was creating racial tension and turning students and faculty against her, with students calling her “America” because she’s white, and teachers screaming at her that she has white privilege.
The district administration, mired in educational failure, has been seeking a pretext to discipline or fire Bessinger, as we reported:
The Providence School District now has notified Bessinger that she is being brought before a pre-disciplinary panel convened on the pretext that she allegedly violated a school safety rule (seriously, that’s what they are going with). Bessinger posted a partial image of the hearing notice on Twitter:
The Providence School District is calling me in Wednesday for my show-trial. “Pre-disciplinary hearing”. They do not like teachers that expose them.
The Notice is dated October 5, 2021, two days after Bessinger went public about the retaliation and filed in internal complaint.
The specific charge is that Bessinger allowed students to leave her classroom during a lockdown at the school (the lockdown apparently related to a fight between a student and staff member not related to Bessinger).
“…. on September 29, 2021, you allegedly did not follow the proper protocols and procedures during a lockdown jeopardizing the health and safety of the students. Consequently, these allegations create a legitimate concern that you may not and/or will not be able to perform your duties within the scope of your accountable employment with PPSD.”
Since that report, the harassment intensitied. Sometime in the afternoon of Tuesday, October 12, when Bessinger was not present in school, someone defaced her classroom blackboard with threats and taunts against her, and then photos of the whiteboard were tweeted at her by unknown and relatively new Twitter accounts.
One of the images tweeted showed one of Bessinger’s student writing one of the messages on the board (his face has been cropped out by us).
This was very unsettling to Bessinger, because someone was in her classroom with her school children assisting them in writing hostile and taunting messages, then photographing it, then tweeting it. Where was the substitute teacher? Where were administrators? Who took the photo and tweeted it? Middle school students don’t typically use Twitter, they use other platforms, though it’s possible one of the students tweeted them out.
Also, that does not look like middle-school handwriting to me. Too organized. I would not be surprised if some teachers contributed to this piece of “art.”
Bessinger has requested an investigation by the school administration and that she be protected in school. She called the Providence Police, who came to the school.
Bessinger’s “pre-disciplinary” hearing was held this morning. It was an inquisition. One of the senior Human Resources officials grilled Bessinger aggressively about some of Bessinger’s students being on video leaving the classroom for a few minutes during an instructional lockdown (not a shelter-in-place lockdown). The questioner repeatedly tried to put words in Bessinger’s mouth. Bessinger denied violating any policies and repeatedly express that student safety is her top priority, but that the school administration created confusion during that event.
While Bessinger was not given a chance to present her side of the case, since this was a hearing to question her, as she previously wrote the school changed policies recently to permit students to leave class without passes, leading to a breakdown of discipline. Some students, hearing various bells ringing, also may have thought they were permitted to leave. But Bessinger’s position was that at no time did she permit students to leave from her multi-door classroom.
It was clear from the snide, aggressive tone of the HR interrogator’s questioning that the school administration is looking for a pretext. And a small number of student slipping out of the classroom during confusion created by the administration itself is the pretext the school has found.
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