Target: John-Paul Hayworth, Executive Director of the Washington D.C. State Board of Education
Goal: End the disturbing amount of hate graffiti found on school property in Montgomery County by implementing racial equality classes.
A sign that reads “whites only” taped onto a high school bathroom door is just a sign of the times in Montgomery County, Maryland. There has been a dramatic increase in the number of hate symbols, such as the swastikas and racist messages, left on the walls and bathrooms of schools across the school district. In all of 2015 there were only six incidents of racist vandalism reported in the county, but in just one month in 2016, there were eight incidents reported.
The rise in these hate-fueled messages has led many to feel apprehensive about sending their children to school. Public schools should be safe spaces where children don’t feel intimidated. These messages were discovered not only in high schools or middle schools, but in elementary schools. These messages send a powerfully negative message to young impressionable minds.
Many schools are harshly punishing those responsible for the vandalism, but schools don’t have the resources to catch everyone and many students are only repeating things they heard on TV or at home. The best way to combat this ignorance is with education.
Unfortunately there has been an alarming rise in the number of hate crimes across the country since the presidential election, but it is our responsibility to shield children from threats and intimidation. Sign this petition to demand that students attend classes to educate them on equality.
Dear Director Hayworth,
There has been a troubling number of hateful messages left on school property in Montgomery County. These messages and symbols are racial insults that are meant to demean and intimidate students. It is our obligation as a society to protect children from threats and intimidation.
The dramatic increase of these messages must be curbed. Many schools have a zero tolerance for this kind of behavior and have implemented severe punishments for students caught engaging in these kinds of activities. Schools don’t have the resources to catch everyone and many students are only repeating things they heard on TV or at home. The best way to combat this ignorance is with education. Educating students on race and equality is crucial to resolving this issue.
Hate crimes are on the rise nationally. We live in divisive times, but children should be shielded from this tension. Schools need to feel safe if they are to succeed. Please implement county-wide equality education in Montgomery County.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Bart Everson