When faculty at Parkway Central High School in St. Louis County announced that racist graffiti had been uncovered earlier in September, students and community members across the district staged a walkout in condemnation of the incident.
However, the culprit behind the graffiti was a nonwhite student, according to a letter sent to parents, Supt. Keith Marty announced Tuesday.
"The student responsible is not white," Marty wrote. "This does not diminish the hurt it caused or the negative impact it has had on our entire community."
The student admitted to writing the messages, and the graffiti constituted a violation of the district's policies, Marty said.
"The student is facing severe disciplinary consequences and referral to law enforcement for investigation," the letter read. "Parkway will continue to hold students responsible for any behavior that threatens or degrades others in our school community."
Even though the student was not white, the school condemned the action and praised the student-led walkout efforts.
"Students proactively led walkouts at multiple Parkway high schools and in these moments, many students shared personal experiences of racism throughout their lives and at school," Marty wrote.
A similar event took place in April at Albion College in Michigan, where a black male student tagged a dormitory's stairwell with graffiti featuring racist epithets and references to the Klu Klux Klan, according to the school's safety department.
"We know that there is a significant history of racial pain and trauma on campus and we are taking action to repair our community," Albion College officials tweeted after the student who created the graffiti was removed from campus.
Another example of a hoax that turned a college on its head occurred in 2017 at St. Olaf College, MPR News reported.
After a note was left on a student's car that consisted of a racial slur and an insult, classes at the school were canceled to relieve the emotional trauma felt by the student body and faculty, according to school officials.
Days later, an investigation determined the letter was not a "genuine threat" and was instead an attempt to raise awareness toward the alleged hostile climate of the campus, a statement from the school said.
In the Missouri district, there is still work to be done to ensure schools are an inclusive place, Marty's letter concluded.
"Let us use this opportunity to continue to grow as a community to be more compassionate, peaceful and loving individuals with care for all," Marty said.
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Original Author: Luke Gentile