A Detroit Public Schools teacher found herself in the hot seat after she wore a sweatshirt emblazoned with the words “Columbus Was a Murderer” on Columbus Day.
Emma Howland-Bolton told ABC affiliate WPVI her intention was to “kind of spark discussion” among her fifth grade students at Clippert Multicultural Magnet Honors Academy.
The Detroit Public Schools Community District took notice of Howland-Bolton’s attire because sweatshirts generally go against the employee business casual dress code, ABC affiliate WXYZ reported.
The district also took issue with Howland-Bolton’s failure to submit her lesson plan for approval.
The school asked her to take off the shirt.
“I was informed that my shirt was just my opinion and I countered that actually it is a fact,” she told WPVI.
The Detroit teacher has not been shy in the past about making her politics known. In March 2018, Howland-Bolton appeared on CBS News and slammed President Donald Trump’s Secretary of Education, Betsy Devos, calling her a “plutocrat.”
“They’re terrified that their children – should we ever have equitably funded schools – might one day have to compete with kids who come from the schools where I work at,” she said.
Howland-Bolton was not subjected to any disciplinary measures for the statement.
A Columbus Day controversy
Many progressives and liberals take issue with honoring Christopher Columbus, arguing that doing so upholds genocide and racism.
This year, progressive-minded politicians and activists advocated the celebration of “Indigenous Peoples Day,” instead of Columbus Day.
Some cities took the additional step of officially renaming the holiday.
- Emma Howland-Bolton.: Screen grab