Students punished for labeling water fountains ‘whites only’, ‘blacks only’

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The signs pasted above a pair of the water fountains in the hallway of a Cincinnati-area high school were reminiscent of life under Jim Crow laws: “Whites only,” said the one on the left; “Blacks only” reads the one to his right.

A photo of the Signs circulated on social media among students at Colerain High School earlier this month, sparking outrage among parents and sparking a school district investigation. One mother called the act a hate crime.

Now, the students responsible for the “tasteless and hurtful act have been subject to significant disciplinary action”, according to school officials.

“We want to ensure that our staff, students, families and community understand our position on racial intolerance, discrimination, racism and hatred,” a statement released Monday said. of the Northwest Local School District said. “We take this matter very seriously. This type of behavior is not and will not be tolerated or tolerated.

Colerain High School, which has 1,730 students, is about 30 percent black and about 50 percent white, according to US News & World Report.

the the incident is the latest in a series of racist acts acts that occurred in schools across the country. A day after the Ohio district announced the punishments, school officials in Palm City, Florida said they were investigating a photograph that circulated on social media of students holding up letters spelling out the n-word

Last month, a Chicago-area high school student wrote a racist comment about picking cotton on a “prom-posal” sign. In recent months, student-athletes in several states, including Georgia, Washington, Vermont, Minnesota and California, have reported hearing competitors or spectators shout racial slurs at them during or after games.

The investigation of the Ohio high school water fountain signs found that the pieces of paper remained upright for about 30 seconds on May 5, the district said in a statement. In addition to saying “Whites only” and “Blacks only”, each panel featured a drawing of a scowling face.

“Students involved in the incident posted the signs, took photos and deleted the notes before posting the photos online,” officials said.

The signs refer to segregation under Jim Crow laws. Some of the most notorious depictions of segregation include those of water fountains and separate bathrooms for blacks and whites. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 made segregation illegal, although many Southern states were slow to comply.

A parent posted a screenshot of the social media post to their Facebook page last week, causing an uproar in the comments. It has been shared about 150 times. Others, in interviews with WXIX, called the incident at their children’s school “offensive” and a “hate crime.”

The school district did not say how many students were disciplined or what punishments they received. Officials said any student who shared the image or posted it online would also face disciplinary action.

the The incident, they added, does not “reflect the values ​​and culture that we have worked so hard to cultivate in all of our schools in the district.”

“As a district, we remain committed to teaching love, inclusiveness and compassion,” the statement added.

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