Jim Crow-era style signs hung above school water fountains are a 'hate crime,' says parent

It’s always important to celebrate young people who are getting it right—after all, young people are literally our future, especially when it comes to voting, organizing, and leading structural and systemic change. But in addition to the reality that young people should not be losing their youth to fixing the mistakes of adults, it’s also true that young people are not necessarily progressive. In fact, young people are still being raised in inherently racist, ableist societies where structural and systemic discrimination is at play. For those (and other) reasons we continue to witness some deeply disturbing acts of hate even from minors. A recent example comes to us out of Ohio, where students at Colerain High School taped incredibly racist and horrifying signs above water fountains in the school hallway and posted the images online, as reported by The Washington Post. According to administrators at the school, the same students who hung the posters took them down in under a minute, but that absolutely does not detract from the harm done here.  The signs? They read “whites only” above the left and “blacks only” above the right foundation as a clear callback to racist Jim Crow laws. Yes, really.  RELATED: Georgia students file federal lawsuit over public school ban on Black Lives Matter apparel Sooooo this is how Colerain High School in Cincinnati gets down huh. Honestly not surprised anymore. pic.twitter.com/t34kDYojGI— Big Boi 5033 (@BiggBoi5033) May 17, 2022 "Those who participated in this tasteless and hurtful act have been issued significant disciplinary actions," a statement titled “NWLSD's Response To An Act of Racial Intolerance” from administrators reads in part. Administrators went on to say this “type of behavior” is not “condoned or tolerated” and not reflective of the values of the school. The statement notes officials were “made aware of an inappropriate and racist message” at the end of the school day on May 5, but it’s unclear how or by whom. School officials sent a letter to parents at the school informing them of the incident and their promise to immediately investigate the situation. According to officials, the students took down the flyers before posting the images online. The school has not specified how many students were involved in the incident or how many have received disciplinary action. The school also has not specified what the disciplinary action actually is. But parents in the area are calling it what it is: a hate crime. An anonymous parent told local outlet FOX 19 that this is a “hate crime” and “racism swept under the rug.” Another parent, who also asked to remain anonymous, said their “heart dropped” and they “could not believe it.” They added it was “so offensive.” This parent added to the outlet they didn’t want their name out there to avoid possible retaliation against their child, who attends school in the district. Notably, school officials have also said any student found sharing the image online could also receive disciplinary action. The first parent pointed out that this can force hurt students to essentially stay silent about what happened and censor their ability to process.  According to CBS News, close to 50% of the high school is white, and about 30% is Black. Sadly, as Daily Kos has covered, this story is not an isolated incident when it comes to high schools across the nation. Daily Kos recently covered the brave Black high-schoolers suing their school district over a dress code that permits the Confederate flag but bans Black Lives Matter apparel, for example. We’ve seen hundreds of students peacefully walk out of school in protest of a video of a white student saying racist slurs, in addition to more than 1,000 students and staff walking out in protest of racist graffiti in a school bathroom. Disturbingly, there are truly countless examples of racism from both teachers and students alike. 

Jim Crow-era style signs hung above school water fountains are a 'hate crime,' says parent

It’s always important to celebrate young people who are getting it right—after all, young people are literally our future, especially when it comes to voting, organizing, and leading structural and systemic change. But in addition to the reality that young people should not be losing their youth to fixing the mistakes of adults, it’s also true that young people are not necessarily progressive. In fact, young people are still being raised in inherently racist, ableist societies where structural and systemic discrimination is at play. For those (and other) reasons we continue to witness some deeply disturbing acts of hate even from minors.

A recent example comes to us out of Ohio, where students at Colerain High School taped incredibly racist and horrifying signs above water fountains in the school hallway and posted the images online, as reported by The Washington Post. According to administrators at the school, the same students who hung the posters took them down in under a minute, but that absolutely does not detract from the harm done here. 

The signs? They read “whites only” above the left and “blacks only” above the right foundation as a clear callback to racist Jim Crow laws. Yes, really. 

RELATED: Georgia students file federal lawsuit over public school ban on Black Lives Matter apparel

Sooooo this is how Colerain High School in Cincinnati gets down huh. Honestly not surprised anymore. pic.twitter.com/t34kDYojGI

— Big Boi 5033 (@BiggBoi5033) May 17, 2022

"Those who participated in this tasteless and hurtful act have been issued significant disciplinary actions," a statement titled “NWLSD's Response To An Act of Racial Intolerance” from administrators reads in part. Administrators went on to say this “type of behavior” is not “condoned or tolerated” and not reflective of the values of the school. The statement notes officials were “made aware of an inappropriate and racist message” at the end of the school day on May 5, but it’s unclear how or by whom.

School officials sent a letter to parents at the school informing them of the incident and their promise to immediately investigate the situation. According to officials, the students took down the flyers before posting the images online. The school has not specified how many students were involved in the incident or how many have received disciplinary action. The school also has not specified what the disciplinary action actually is.

But parents in the area are calling it what it is: a hate crime. An anonymous parent told local outlet FOX 19 that this is a “hate crime” and “racism swept under the rug.”

Another parent, who also asked to remain anonymous, said their “heart dropped” and they “could not believe it.” They added it was “so offensive.” This parent added to the outlet they didn’t want their name out there to avoid possible retaliation against their child, who attends school in the district.

Notably, school officials have also said any student found sharing the image online could also receive disciplinary action. The first parent pointed out that this can force hurt students to essentially stay silent about what happened and censor their ability to process. 

According to CBS News, close to 50% of the high school is white, and about 30% is Black.

Sadly, as Daily Kos has covered, this story is not an isolated incident when it comes to high schools across the nation. Daily Kos recently covered the brave Black high-schoolers suing their school district over a dress code that permits the Confederate flag but bans Black Lives Matter apparel, for example. We’ve seen hundreds of students peacefully walk out of school in protest of a video of a white student saying racist slurs, in addition to more than 1,000 students and staff walking out in protest of racist graffiti in a school bathroom. Disturbingly, there are truly countless examples of racism from both teachers and students alike.