Excerpt: Matthew Hawn checked his phone to see if the wait was finally over.
It had been five months since he was fired for teaching about White privilege at a high school in rural Tennessee. Two months since he had fought to regain his job at an emotional three-day hearing, becoming a symbol of the acrimonious debate over the way race, racism and history should be taught in America’s schools.
His firing comes amid a tsunami of conservative outrage about critical race theory, an academic framework for examining systemic racism in the United States that educators contend is rarely taught in public schools. Hawn said he’d never heard of critical race theory until he was accused of teaching it.