On Monday (Aug. 29), a school district in Ohio condemned a racist homecoming invitation created by one of its students.
The teenage boy from Swanton Local School District (SLSD) created a poster board to ask another student to attend the upcoming homecoming dance. “If I was Black, I’d be picking cotton, but I’m white, so I’m picking u [for] hoco,” the invitation read, according to ABC 13 Ohio. The teen shared the photo of himself and his intended date on his social media account.
SLSD Superintendent Chris Lake said the district is stunned by the student’s actions and his parents’ acceptance of the invitation. “We are deeply shocked that a student would think it is acceptable to make such a comment and even more shocked that any parent would allow their student to make such a sign,” he said.
Lake also said Swanton students are taught to respect everyone regardless of race, creed, or orientation. “Unfortunately, when students leave our buildings and go into an environment where this type of racist sentiment is allowed to go unchecked, it complicates all of our efforts,” Lake explained. “Nevertheless, we will persevere in our efforts to mold our students into compassionate individuals who treat others with respect. As distasteful as this event is, it will provide a lesson to all of our students on what is and is not acceptable in today’s society.”
SLSD announced that they contacted the student’s parents and would speak with him at school. Despite their statements, the school has decided not to discipline him for creating the racist homecoming poster.
According to Go2Tutors, this is the third school year in a row that a racist homecoming poster has made headlines. One incident involved a student from Olathe South High School in Kansas who did the same thing last year. The Kansas school principal also denounced the action after the photo circulated on social media. Following the incident, the girl in the picture holding the sign allegedly received death threats.
These stories highlight this debate between those who believe schools should emphasize social justice more and those who oppose it.