Words of disgust and sadness are insufficient to describe our feelings regarding the image that was brought to our attention the evening of May 16. This repulsive photo does not represent the concern, love and care of Washington County School District. Although this incident did not take place on school grounds or happen during school time, it does not minimize our abhorrence of this racist act.
The photo involves students and non-student adults. Appropriate discipline for the students involved began immediately. Yet no level of discipline can repair the hate, bigotry and ugliness portrayed in that one picture. The vulgar ignorance and idiocy on display are beyond repair by any small discipline we can provide. We have welcomed officials from local and federal law enforcement to review the offending photo for potential criminal violations. We are also consulting with legal counsel as we consider additional administrative actions.
As an educational institution, we will continue to teach! We will teach of love, kindness and inclusion; of respect for the fellow human beings that share our neighborhoods, our communities and the hallways in our schools. We will remind students that there is absolutely no room for the intolerance, and hatred displayed in this image. Finally, as district administrators, we are considering what education would be helpful for students to understand the significance of civil rights protections and violations, as well as appropriate use of social media.
Two students do not represent the views of the nearly 32,000 students, nor of the staff and teachers in our schools throughout Washington County School District. While we are sickened by this photo, we will move forward with love as we further educate our students.
Director of Communications
Washington County School District