For the second time this month, a racist promposal has made headlines, this time at Palos Verdes High School.
What We Know:
- A photo was circulating the internet last week showing two Palos Verdes students holding a poster. The message on the poster read ‘Bianca you racist but I would give anything for you to go with me to prom’. In that message, six letters that spelled out nigger were in bold and larger than the rest so that it stood out. According to students, the male teen in the photo is a foreign exchange student.
- Neither of the students in the photo are responsible for posting the photo on social media. Unfortunately, the photo spread very quickly. There were some students that posted threatening comments about shooting the school due to the racist image. There was increased police presence at the school on May 17th to investigate these threats. The Palos Verdes PD deemed the threat to be harmless.
- Dr. Allan Tyner, the principal of Palos Verdes went around to all the classrooms and addressed appropriate behavior. He also made a point to advise that racial slurs of any kind are unacceptable. Tyner also made a statement in regards to the students in the photo. “We have been in touch with the identified students and their families to inform them that we are forming a response and anticipate severe consequences.”
- On May 21, the students of Palos Verdes held an assembly to discuss racial tolerance and sensitivity. The students showed that they are unified in the fight against racism and bigotry. They all held hands and listened quietly as some of their classmates of color discussed how the incident made them feel in addition to past experiences with racism. Only 2% of the students at the school are African American.
- Hate crimes and bigotry have increased nationally and locally over the past few years. According to the California Department of Justice, there was a 65% increase in hate crimes on school campuses. Members of the LGBTQ community, black, and Jews have been the primary targets for these hate crimes.
- Brain Levin, director of Cal State San Bernardino’s Center on Hate and Extremism, made a statement about the increased hate crimes in schools. “Many of the people engaging in hate speech and bigotry are not hardcore hatemonhgers. We have this middle group who think bigotry is funny.” Social media is also showing to play an important in this behavior.
Palos Verdes prom was held Saturday, May 18th. The school has not released any additional information on the intended consequences for the students involved.