Skip to main contentSkip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit

Idaho superintendent ‘distraught’ after student uses racist poster to ask classmate to dance

  • 0
stock school bus

IDAHO FALLS — The superintendent of a school district in Eastern Idaho affirmed the district does not condone racism or discrimination after a student used racist language on a poster to invite a classmate to a school dance.

The poster from Thunder Ridge High School had circulated on social media and garnered national attention after an EastIdahoNews.com report. It had read, “If I was Black, I’d be picking cotton … but I’m white, so I’m picking you.”

In a letter to families and employees, Bonneville Joint School District 93 Superintendent Scott Woolstenhulme said he was “distraught” when he learned what happened. He said school administration had addressed the situation with the student and student’s parents.

“While I will never be able to personally understand how it feels to be a target of racist and bigoted language, I recognize how traumatic such language must be,” he wrote.

“I am deeply sorry that such an awful remark was connected to our schools. I want to assure our students, families, and staff that the Bonneville Joint School District 93 does not condone or permit racism, intolerance, or discrimination in any form.”

In recent years, students in other states across the country, including Minnesota and Florida, have used similar phrases on invitations to school events, according to local news sources. Woolstenhulme said he was “devastated” to see that repeated in the Bonneville Joint School District 93.

In his letter, Woolstenhulme also pointed to the debates that started during the last legislative session over critical race theory and unsubstantiated claims of indoctrination happening in Idaho schools. He said those conversations may have made some teachers “understandably apprehensive” about teaching certain lessons.

“This incident underscores the importance for us to continue to learn about the history of racism, the stories of those who tirelessly worked and sacrificed to help our country overcome its past, and why racist language should never be tolerated,” the letter said. The student who made the poster, Woolstenhulme said, is “extremely remorseful.”

The superintendent vowed to continue to take steps to make all students feel safe, and work toward a future “that is finally free of racism.”

“I hope we will all remember that none of us is perfect, and that we have all had opportunities to learn and grow from our own mistakes,” Woolstenhulme said.

The incident has also garnered national attention. The Council on American-Islamic Relations released a statement Tuesday that said authorities and religious and political leaders must take racial bias and threats against minority communities seriously.

“We urge educational institutions to offer an anti-racist curriculum to students and make clear that they will not tolerate hate and bigotry on their campuses,” CAIR National Communications Coordinator Ismail Allison said in a statement.

0 Comments
0
0
1
0
0

Want to see more like this?

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

Legislation allowing Idaho K-12 teachers to take home more of their paychecks by giving school districts an opportunity to leave private health care carriers and join the state’s self-funded health insurance plan cleared the House on Monday and headed to the Senate.

Charley Astle set up a GoFundMe to help pay for therapy and additional expenses Rick Astle's family might face. Within 24 hours the community helped the family reach their initial goal of $5,000.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

News Alerts

Breaking News