'Whites only' and 'Blacks only' tagged in Alameda High restroom
ALAMEDA, Calif. - Alameda High School was tagged with several racist markings before the Thanksgiving break, according to school officials.
The N-word was scratched into a stairwell wall and a restroom, a swastika was tagged in a restroom, and "whites only" and "blacks only" were written on the mirrors above two sinks in the same restroom, according to Principal Robert Ithurburn in a newsletter sent to parents on Nov. 18.
"Sadly, it seems like annually I am having to report of some incident of bigotry, hate speech, or racism that we have had on campus," said Principal Ithurburn. "It is difficult for me not to express my disgust for these incidences."
Ithurburn said they reviewed camera footage but weren't able to figure out who did the tagging. He added there were so many students who went into the restrooms and stairwell during that time, it was hard to narrow it down.
"Is this who we want to be? What kind of community do we want to have?" Ithurburn asked students in an assembly before the holiday.
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He added that the racist incidents damage the rich benefits of having a diverse student population at AHS.
"We have also asked teachers to process this with students and encourage/empower students to report such acts of hate to a trusted adult so that we may determine who is responsible for this," said Ithurburn. "All students deserve the right to feel safe at school and we need to do whatever we can to allow for that."
AHS administrators told KTVU they are planning sharing circles for students to talk about the hate speech. They have also created lessons on the nature and dehumanizing effects of bigotry and racism.
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School officials said they also hope to empower students to stand up and report classmates to "stop those who seek to harm others."
Last year, five boys at Alameda High School were suspected of posting images of a boy giving a Nazi arm salute as well as a student with an Adolf Hitler-style mustache, according to the East Bay Times. And in 2017 police investigated a noose found at Alameda High.