Society

High School Student Faces Expulsion For Posting Signs Highlighting Racism (Photo)

| by Sheena Vasani
The Controversial Signs

An Indiana high school student reportedly faces expulsion for posting controversial messages on-campus in order to raise awareness of racism both on-campus and in the world.

Sixteen-year-old Shane Williams, who says he is black, Hispanic and white, posted signs above water fountains at Riley High School reading, "COLORED ONLY" and "WHITES ONLY," WNDU reports.

"I'm being punished for trying to make a social change," Williams told Fox 28.

"I put the signs up to help students to view legal segregation in a different form, for them to experience it themselves,” Williams added to WNDU. “Within my school I can hear remarks and see actions on a daily basis but I think if you guys are going to do these things, you're going to be racist, why do it under the table, why not blatantly put it on the walls."

It certainly did provoke strong responses from students and staff alike.

"I found it kind of disturbing," Brandan Parmley, a fellow student, told Fox 28.

Demetris Gardner, a black student, said it made him feel nervous.

“This is a real teachable moment for students," Principal Francois Bayingana said. "If you want to make a point, there's always a protocol to follow."

"Before you react to something, or if you have something, something is bothering you, talk to administrators," he continued.

"You can use your free speech or free expression without hurting other's rights," Bayingana added.

Superintendent Carole Schmidt said she was upset with the controversial move.

“I was extremely disappointed to learn of the actions of these students today," she said, according to WNDU. "There is no place for these kinds of actions in our schools or in our community. My hope is that there can be some learning for those students involved.”

School officials suspended Williams for five days and are considering expelling him.

Williams, however, does not regret his act and remains defiant.

"If anything, I did that school a favor," he told Fox 28, "for the school system to try to cover it up and pretend it didn't happen, we have deeper issues within our schools, I just want to bring it to the light."

Sources: WNDUFox 28 / Photo Credit: WNDU

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