Coatesville area high school, pennsylvania— dumbass lilly (@slowtownn) October 18, 2017
principle: michele snyder (Ext: 81501)
Twitter do your thing. pic.twitter.com/7XznptfQ8r
It’s Halloween season but some students are taking the scary part to a completely disturbing level.
A photo of four Chester County, PA, teenagers with jack-o’-lanterns is making rounds on the internet. The scary part is that two of the pumpkins have swastikas and the letter “KKK” carved into them. According to the Coatesville Area School District, the teenagers are current and former Coatesville Area High School students.
The photo was taken via Snapchat and was not taken during school hours or on school grounds.
“We are extremely disappointed that any of our students would display this kind of hatred and vile behavior,” a school district spokesperson said. “It’s reprehensible and intolerable, and this photo causes deep sadness and concern. We work extremely hard to promote a tolerant, respectful, inclusive learning environment, and this is in direct opposition to everything we stand for and believe in.”
Superintendent Cathy Taschner said she was disgusted by the racist incident but the district could use it to as an opportunity for a teaching moment.
“We will not tolerate it in our schools,” Taschner said. “We will work to educate children and we will work to continue to educate staff. And we've been doing a lot of that.”
Students at the school tried to protest the scandal but security stopped them from their staged walk out, NBC reported. Several students protested outside the school on Wednesday holding up sings that read “it’s not a joke” and “not funny!”
“We're trying to make a point,” said senior Rahmeer Frazier. “We're not out here causing chaos, we're not out here causing a ruckus, we're trying to make a point because this is something we care about and we're standing on it.”
The photo is the latest in a string of controversies attached to Coatesville Area High School.
Recently, members of the school’s cross-country team took a photo of a black doll hanging from a noose in the locker room. Officials claimed it was a “foolish prank” that had nothing to do with race.
In 2013, Raw Story reported racist text messages between former Coatesville Area School Superintendent Richard Como and former Director of Athletics and Activities Jim Donato.
“All should have whatever first names they want… then last name is N*****!” one message read. “Leroy N*****, Preacher N*****, Night train n*****, clarence n*****, Latoya n*****, Thelma n***** and so on.”
“Hahahahahahahahhahahahaha could have a whole homeromms (sic) of N****r!” another message said. “Hahahahahahaha! Will N***** report to office, pardon the interruption but will N***** report to nurses office. N***** to lunch now!”
A message complained there was “no f***ing way that ape banged that white piece? WTF is going on with these white pieces taking n***** c***! Me no understand!”
In the latest incident, school officials contacted parents of the students and turned the photo over to the police. The school will also investigate the incident and collaborate with groups like NAACP, Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and Mid-Atlantic Equity Center this week to address the problem of racism.
Considering the school’s history of racism, let us hope these new talks stick.
Banner/Thumbnail credit: Reuters, Stephen Lam