Clovis Substitute Teacher Removed from School After Wearing "Black Lives Matter" Button

FRESNO, Calif. -
A substitute teacher has been asked to not teach at Clovis West High School anymore after he wore a "Black Lives Matter" pin in class. The Clovis Unified School District said it's against policy to integrate sensitive social issues into the classroom, when it's not a part of the curriculum.
 
Mr. David Roberts has been with the district for about 15 years. He said he didn't mean to cause any problems with wearing the pin, but he also doesn't want to remain quiet about a topic that he says should be discussed.
 
He said, "It's not just about Black lives, it's about everyone's lives. But, it also means Black Lives Matter too."
 
Roberts, who is a 75-year old White man, dons his "Black Lives Matter" pin everywhere.
 
"We need to talk to about breaking down these barriers of hate and start talking about love. Start talking about being human beings, kind and caring for each other.  That's what this is about," stated Roberts.
 
Roberts wears the pin to the store, to church, and he wore it for a few days in class last month, while subbing at Clovis West.
 
He stated, "Later in the week, I got a letter from the district saying you no longer can teach at Clovis West. That really hurt me a lot."
 
We asked Clovis Unified about the incident.
 
"It is absolutely nothing to do with the statement that he, the pin that he was wearing, the issue that's raise there. It's really about a district wide policy," said CUSD chief communication officer Kelly Avants.
 
Avants said there are district wide procedures in place for teachers to encourage discussion among students, and wearing a controversial pin to class falls outside those procedures.
 
She said, "It's well known amongst our teaching staff that if there's going to be a topic or a conversation integrated into a lesson plan, that it be done so thoughtfully."
 
Roberts will continue to teach at other high schools within the district, and said he has not worn the pin since the Clovis West incident.
 
The district could not comment specifically on Roberts since he is still an employee with the district. However, they said, typically substitute teachers are removed from a school not over one reason, rather a multitude of reasons.

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