Churchland High School in Portsmouth, Va has found its has halls desecrated by racist signing exposing its students to hateful messages. After being shared on social media, outrage ensued forcing the School district to issue a statement. In a time where racial tensions are at an all time high in the nation, the school administration is trying its best to diffuse the incident and take away the incident as a learning opportunity for the students and community- workshops have been organized to educate and stress the importance of diversity and acceptance, values clearly important to the school and its administrators.
As reported by wtvr.com:
Under one fountain a sign read “whites only” and the fountain next to it read “blacks only.”
The school district said the student responsible for hanging the racist signs has been disciplined, but the law prevents them from elaborating on the specific incident.
The signs were discovered on Tuesday, causing outrage on social media.
The Portsmouth School District offered the following statement:
“On Tuesday afternoon, we received a report concerning unacceptable signs posted above water fountains at Churchland High. The signs were taken down immediately, and school administration launched an investigation. Based on the results of the investigation, the principal took disciplinary action regarding this isolated incident.
In coming days, administrators, staff, and students will participate in workshops that address student conduct and that emphasize the importance of diversity and respect.
In Portsmouth Public Schools, diversity is our strength. It’s important that our students, staff and families feel safe and welcome in our schools. We will make every effort to ensure that’s the case in each of our schools.”
Here’s the transcript of the call sent to Churchland High families:
“Good afternoon Churchland High families. This is Mr. Millaci.
At Churchland High School, we care about all students and staff want continue to keep you informed.
On late Tuesday afternoon, we received a report concerning offensive signs posted above water fountains here at Churchland High. The signs were taken down immediately, and school administration began an investigation. We finished the investigation this morning, and I took immediate disciplinary action against a student in this isolated incident.
The signs were up for a short period of time. We addressed the matter quickly, and there have been no disruptions to our school operations.
We are also aware that information has been posted on social media. Which is why I’m calling to provide further clarification about this incident.
In coming days, administrators, staff, and students will participate in workshops that address student conduct and that emphasize the importance of diversity, respect and the responsible use of social media. Parents, please help us by talking with your students about these matters and the implications of their actions.
Please feel free to call me directly if you have any further concerns.”
Do you think the school’s response was appropriate? It is refreshing to see that a school administration is taking away an incident that would potentially sully their reputation and turn it around and create the positive learning experience it has. Do you think that the incident is a larger reflection of what is going on in society as a whole? If the school has responded this way to combat racism in its halls, what can the general population do to create the same effect within society? Share your thoughts in the comments below.