OSEA Beaverton Chapter 48 took a stand for diversity and inclusion on Monday, February 27, with a rally celebrating “diversity over division” in Beaverton schools.
The district has been targeted by right-wing activists who interrupt school board meetings in an attempt to push an anti-diversity agenda. This came to a head at the district’s January meeting when OSEA Beaverton Chapter 48 President Kyrsti Sackman was personally targeted by individuals who disrupted the school board meeting. Members of the anti-diversity group shouted verbal harassment at Sackman and behaved in a physically intimidating way.
Sackman says Beaverton School District (BSD) has strong policies in place to prevent discrimination. “Our action was not against the district in any way. BSD is an ally in our work to ensure that Beaverton schools are for everyone, as is [the teachers’ union,] Beaverton Education Association,” Sackman said. “We just wanted to be proactive, to show that, if you’re coming to Beaverton School District, welcome to the diversity club because that’s what we do here.”
Chapter 48 was joined in solidarity by supporters including OSEA President Sarah Wofford and fellow union members of neighboring OSEA chapters, the Beaverton Education Association (BEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). Together, they affirmed that Beaverton schools are for everyone and will never tolerate hate, bullying or discrimination.