Jim Crow-era style signs hung above school water fountains are a ‘hate crime,’ says parent

“Those who participated in this tasteless and hurtful act have been issued significant disciplinary actions,” a statement titled “NWLSD’s Response To An Act of Racial Intolerance” from administrators reads in part. Administrators went on to say this “type of behavior” is not “condoned or tolerated” and not reflective of the values of the school. The statement notes officials were “made aware of an inappropriate and racist message” at the end of the school day on May 5, but it’s unclear how or by whom.

School officials sent a letter to parents at the school informing them of the incident and their promise to immediately investigate the situation. According to officials, the students took down the flyers before posting the images online. The school has not specified how many students were involved in the incident or how many have received disciplinary action. The school also has not specified what the disciplinary action actually is.

But parents in the area are calling it what it is: a hate crime. An anonymous parent told local outlet FOX 19 that this is a “hate crime” and “racism swept under the rug.”

Another parent, who also asked to remain anonymous, said their “heart dropped” and they “could not believe it.” They added it was “so offensive.” This parent added to the outlet they didn’t want their name out there to avoid possible retaliation against their child, who attends school in the district.

Notably, school officials have also said any student found sharing the image online could also receive disciplinary action. The first parent pointed out that this can force hurt students to essentially stay silent about what happened and censor their ability to process. 

According to CBS News, close to 50% of the high school is white, and about 30% is Black.

Sadly, as Daily Kos has covered, this story is not an isolated incident when it comes to high schools across the nation. Daily Kos recently covered the brave Black high-schoolers suing their school district over a dress code that permits the Confederate flag but bans Black Lives Matter apparel, for example. We’ve seen hundreds of students peacefully walk out of school in protest of a video of a white student saying racist slurs, in addition to more than 1,000 students and staff walking out in protest of racist graffiti in a school bathroom. Disturbingly, there are truly countless examples of racism from both teachers and students alike. 

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