CINCINNATI (WXIX/Gray News) — Signs recently appeared on water fountains at an Ohio high school that appear to segregate water fountains by race, parents said.
According to WXIX, school officials at Colerain High School confirmed that the signs were posted on May 5 and then shared on social media.
The school principal sent a letter to parents saying, “The administration takes this incident very seriously, as issues of racial insensitivity are neither condoned nor condoned.”
“We will not tolerate any form of intolerance and will discipline any student who participates in displaying intolerant behavior,” Principal Erin Davis said in the letter.
Some parents take issue with the part of Davis’ letter that says even students who share the message online will face disciplinary action.
They claim that some students wanted to let others know they were hurt, but the school is trying to silence them.
“These water fountains were labeled ‘blacks only’, ‘whites only’, which took us back so many generations,” said one parent who preferred to remain anonymous. “My heart collapsed. I couldn’t believe it. It was so offensive.
Parents say that for students to process information like this, they need to be able to talk about it openly without the creepy threat of censorship from above.
A school district spokesperson called the signs “unacceptable at all levels” and a departure from the district’s “culture of inclusiveness, respect, kindness and compassion for all.”
According to the school spokesperson, an investigation into the matter revealed that the signs were posted above the water fountains for 30 seconds and “were never seen by other students or members Staff”.
“The three students involved in the incident posted the signs, took photos and deleted the notes before posting the photos online,” the spokesperson explained.
The school district said the students involved were disciplined for their actions.
Here is a full copy of the letter sent to parents:
Earlier today, the administration of Colerain Secondary School (CHS) was made aware of an inappropriate and racist message that was posted at the CHS. The administration takes this incident very seriously, as issues of racial insensitivity are neither condoned nor condoned. We are currently investigating this matter. At that time, we identified two students who were involved. Additionally, we have been informed that the post has been shared on social media. Any student, including those found to have participated in sharing the online post, will also be subject to disciplinary action.
The actions displayed do not reflect the values and culture of Colerain High School or the Northwest Local School District. The CHS is committed to creating a culture of inclusiveness, respect, kindness and compassion. As a school community, it is our responsibility to ensure that our CHS family respects and applies these values. We will not advocate any form of intolerance and will sanction any student who participates in displaying intolerant behavior.
Colerain High School
Copyright 2022 WXIX via Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved.