The graduating class at Highline High School paints a message on the school’s “spirit rock” every year. Students painted a bold rainbow with the messages “Pride” and “love wins” this year.
A few days later, the rock had been painted over with a pro-Trump message.
Students are shocked and angry about what they say is a homophobic attack at a school that’s seen its share of racist graffiti as well. Student Jahmara Coleman posted a screenshot allegedly taken from a Snapchat in which the two rocks are shown side by side, with the caption “Fixed it” over the repainting. Coleman has been outspoken about the issue, helping organize a walkout in protest last Friday and getting kicked out of a school assembly after she loudly protested homophobia. Coleman shouted into a megaphone during the walkout.
“Nothing can be done about what they did to the rock, but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate unity and pride!”
Coleman wrote in an Instagram post,
“What’s been going on all year long with is COMPLETELY wrong and unfair on countless levels,” “Thank you to everyone who participated in the walk out today and thank you for supporting me while I ‘crashed’ our assembly. I appreciate every last one of y’all.”
School officials sent a letter to parents addressing the incident and vowing to do more to address intolerance next year. Principal Vicki Fisher said,
“I want to assure you that at no point have frustrations escalated to confrontations or violence. As a precaution, we have had extra security on campus, and we will continue to do everything in our power to keep our students safe at school. Next year, we will focus on learning to better accept and respect each other, regardless of our beliefs, backgrounds, identities, or political opinions. This is critical work for all of us–students, staff and families.”
Coleman shared social media posts making threats against her, writing “#death to jahmara.”
The school has invited parents to a meeting Thursday to discuss the incident further and what the school is doing about it. Highline School District spokesperson Catherine Carbone Rogers said,
“I think we are open to whatever solutions are out there. We know that it’s going to involve training for staff around how to sensitively guide students through issues of freedom of speech and acceptance and tolerance of embracing people who have different opinions.”
THIS is what is reverberating throughout the country because of who is in the White House. He emboldens and encourages their hate. It’s what got him elected.
(via LGBTQ Nation)