Target: Lowell High School Principal, Andrew W. Ishibashi
Goal: Suspend a student who put up a sign containing racist language and stereotypes.
A group of two dozen students walked out of Lowell High School to protest an offensive Black History Month sign that had been posted in the library. The sign read “Happy Black History Month #Gang” with photos of hip-hop artists, other black entertainers, and a photo of President Obama.
Many of the protesters felt that the photos and hashtag were insensitive to the racial stereotyping of black people and promoted racist ideals. The school’s Black Student Union scheduled the walkout where they held up signs reading “We Are Young Black Scholars” and “Black Minds Matter.”
A junior at the school who had participated in the walkout said that the protesting students did not feel that the situation was handled as they felt it should be handled. The protestors wanted teachers to actually delve into the subject of black history, which they felt they didn’t do at all.
Above all, they were upset that the student who posted the offensive sign was not reprimanded in any way. The student was only spoken to and apologized to school officials, not to the black students they offended. Sign the petition below to demand that this student is suspended for his racist sign.
Dear Principal Ishibashi,
The two dozen students who recently walked out in protest of an offensive sign have not yet seen the justice they deserve. The usage of “#Gang” is offensive and racist, as it associates derogatory stereotypes to the photos of black celebrities.
Though you have made statements saying that you will not stand for racial insensitivity, you have failed to properly reprimand the student responsible for the offensive sign. The black students who protested feel as though the situation was not handled the right way.
Allowing a student to simply get away with an act of racial prejudice sets a precedent for other students. Students who wish to copy this event will feel like they can do so and not be punished for it. Whether the intent was malicious or not, the student still needs to be punished. They cannot simply be sent home after a stern lecture.
As you have stated, the message can have damaging effects on the entire community. It is for that reason that I demand the student be suspended for their offensive sign.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Lea Suzuki