Society

'Whites Only,' 'Colored' Signs Posted In Florida School

| by Michael Allen

Handwritten signs reading "whites only" and "colored" were taped above water fountains at First Coast High School in Jacksonville, Florida, on Nov. 10.

Duval County Public Schools spokesperson Laureen Ricks said on Nov. 10 that the "school is investigating, but it appears to be a prank," and that "staff immediately removed the notes once it was brought to their attention," according to WJAX. 

On Nov. 11, DCPS school superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti told the news station, "We are investigating the matter to determine who is behind the action to provide the appropriate discipline and counseling."

Pictures of the signs began circulating on Twitter with comments indicating outrage, according to LawNewz.

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"How you got the 'colored' sign higher than the 'whites only' one?" one user tweeted on Nov. 11. "Florida morons couldn't even get racism right."

"I told my pops that someone put whites only and colored people only signs above water fountains at a Florida high school... He chuckled," another wrote with three red, angry-faced emojis.

"Meanwhile Today at firstcoast...," another tweet read. "This really pissed me off ... RACISM!."

At a Minneapolis high school, the words "Trump," "whites only" and "white America" were written in a bathroom and subsequently shared on Twitter on Nov. 9, notes WCCO.

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A Osseo Area Schools representative provided WCCO with a statement in response to the graffiti:

The tweet you may have seen of a racist message scrawled in a school bathroom is real and we are horrified by it. It goes against everything we stand for, and it is completely contrary to our core values as a district and individual schools.

School leaders immediately launched an investigation into the incident, and they will take swift and appropriate action based on the investigation findings. They will work very hard to identify who did this horrible act and to determine how they can support the students and staff who have been affected by it.

Every day, in all of our schools, we seek to provide a safe and respectful learning and working environment for every student and employee. Racist messages like the one found in today endanger the safety of our students and staff of color, and they create a climate that is not conducive to learning.

This incident is additional evidence of the pressing need in our schools, our community and our nation to find ways to talk about race constructively and respectfully. Over the past several years, we have been learning and practicing language that helps us engage in these conversations when we need them most, in order to interrupt racism.

We are committed to ensuring safe and respectful schools. We will work hard to heal the negative impact that this incident has had on school culture and climate, and on every member of our school family.

Sources: WJAX, LawNewz, WCCO / Photo Credit: WJAX

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