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Outrage as two Ohio high school students erect racist signs on water fountains

The principal of an Ohio high school confirmed that a viral photo showing racist signs over campus water fountains was legitimate in a letter to parents.

On May 5, a photo posted on Snapchat showed two water fountains with handwritten signs above them.

The one on the left said: ‘Only for whites’. The one on the right said: ‘Only for blacks’. Each sign was accompanied by a frowning face emoji.

Director Erin Davis wrote in a letter that two students were identified as the culprits of the racist message.

This is the viral photo showing the racist signs placed over two water fountains at Colerain High School in Ohio

This is the viral photo showing the racist signs placed over two water fountains at Colerain High School in Ohio

Davis said officials were aware that a photo of the sign was spreading on social media.

The principal added that any student found to have helped spread the photo will face disciplinary action.

The letter concluded with the message: ‘As a school community, it is our responsibility to ensure that our CHS family upholds and lives by these values. We will not tolerate bigotry of any kind and will discipline any student who engages in showing bigotry behavior.’

in a separate statement, a spokesperson for the local northwestern school district said the culprits have been “imposed significant disciplinary action”.

The spokesman said the signs were only up for about 30 seconds while students took photos of them. The same students who put up the signs also took them down.

A spokesman for the school district said those responsible for putting up the signs face punishment.

A spokesman for the school district said those responsible for putting up the signs face “significant” punishment.

Staff members or other students did not see the signs until the photos appeared online.

The township of Colerain is located just north of downtown Cincinnati.

A woman with a child at school said Fox19: ‘These water fountains were labeled ‘black only’, ‘white only’, which took us back so many generations. My heart fell. My heart fell. I could not believe it. It was so offensive.

That woman also objected to the school’s promise to punish students who posted the image online. She said: ‘Those kids were hurt, and those kids wanted to know they were hurt, but the school tried to silence them.’

One parent said of the incident: 'Let's make a change.  Let's talk about these things.  Let's stop hiding it'

One parent said of the incident: ‘Let’s make a change. Let’s talk about these things. Let’s stop hiding it’

Another person, also a mother of a child at Colerain High School, told the station: ‘It’s a hate crime. It’s racism swept under the rug.

She added: ‘Let’s make a change. Let’s talk about these things. Let’s stop hiding it.

According US News And World Report, 30% of Colerain’s 1,730 students are black and 49% are white.

The signs date back to Jim Crow laws, where amenities like water fountains and restrooms were racially segregated between black and white people.

A racially segregated water fountain in Halifax, North Carolina, in April 1936

A racially segregated water fountain in Halifax, North Carolina, in April 1936

In 1964, the Civil Rights Act made racial segregation illegal. Jim Crow laws were made obsolete by that legislation and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

This is just the latest in a series of apparent racist incidents in US high school.

Also in May 2022, an Instagram account called The Black Bay Area posted a photo showing a white high school student with a black mannequin head.

The photo is described as showing an ‘all-white cheerleading squad with a black mannequin head like the varsity mascot’. Legend goes on to say that the head of the mannequin is called ‘Kareem’.

The cheerleading team in question was the East Bay High School team. A local resident said NBC Bay Area: ‘If they said it as a statement, they should have clarified it. If they were joking, it’s not funny.

While in Pearl River, New York, a Pearl River Middle School seventh-grader was accused of using a racial slur against a rival Nyack Middle School student-athlete during a track meet, reports ABC New York.

That incident came just a few months after Pearl River High School students were accused of making monkey noises during a basketball game at Nyack High School’s black players while shooting free throws.

The day after Donald Trump was elected President of the United States in November 2016, a high school in Florida reported that two water fountains were labeled “white” and “colored.”

The incident was referred to as a ‘joke’, reported News4Jax at the time. One of the school’s junior basketball players, Kendall Jackson, told the station, “I was worried because I used to see those things in the past, and I thought they’re really going to come back.”

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