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CA High School Plans Walk-out

A California high school has planned a walk-out in protest of a poster that many say is offensive to Black History Month.

On Feb. 5, a poster was found hanging on the Lowell High School library door that read, “Happy Black History Month #Gang.” Members of the school’s Black population and their allies felt the statement referred to them and Black History Month negatively.

“In response to this clear anti-Blackness, past incidents of racism, and an uncomfortable climate for Black students, the Black Student Union (BSU) has scheduled a walk-out for today, February 23, 2016 at 9am,” Afrikan Black Coalition Communications Chief Kadijah Means said in a statement. “The aim of this march is to express discontent with the unsafe environment for Black students, and the administration’s negligence in addressing the BSU’s concerns.”

Protesters have planned to rally outside of SF City Hall following the rally. According to Means, the students will reconvene at 6pm for the district’s School Board, where the BSU will release a list of demands to School Board members.

Andrew W. Ishibashi, Lowell’s principal, issued the following statement on the incident:

“I want to take the opportunity to personally apologize for the delay in providing a more detailed written response to this issue; I wanted to be in a position where I could deliver specific steps that are being taken and give a thoughtful answer to questions that have been raised by this incident.[…]

Following the discovery of the racist display, the administration strove to take quick and decisive action by convening students into two assemblies that afternoon. At each of these assemblies, I explained to the students what had transpired, made it clear that Lowell does not accept any behaviors of this nature, and invited students to send the message #we belong, – which is a student generated phrase from our Peer Mentors. This phrase indicates that everyone at Lowell “belongs” and is a valued member of the community.”

Read Principal Ishibashi’s full statement here.