Student disciplined after hanging "white" and "colored" signs over water fountain at Franklin High School
FRANKLIN, Wis. (CBS 58) – A social media post is getting a lot of attention after a student at Franklin High School posted signs over the drinking fountain “white” and “colored.”
A Facebook post made by the sister of a student at the school has been shared more than 600 times in less than 24 hours.
“They should come to school and feel comfortable, not walking on eggs shells. They should have their school protecting them,” said Amber Smith, a Franklin alum who posted the photo to social media.
Franklin School District said the student has been identified and it is working to address their behavior.
The District released a letter out to parents stating in part, "This act of intolerance by an individual does not represent the values of Franklin High School or the approximately 1,700 people who teach and learn here every day. The display was offensive, hurtful, and wrong."
See the full statement from Franklin Public Schools below:
"Monday afternoon, an inappropriate and racist message was displayed at Franklin High School. Administration was able to identify the individual responsible and address that student’s behavior. This act was in no way part of any school project, curriculum, or initiative. This was an individual act of student behavior. Franklin High School administration is aware of a photo showing this racist imagery and comments circulating on social media in and outside of our community. Campus safety is a priority. We work closely with the Franklin Police Department to ensure our community is safe. Franklin High School values each and every one of our students. This act of intolerance by an individual does not represent the values of Franklin High School or the approximately 1700 people who teach and learn here every day. The display was offensive, hurtful, and wrong. As a school community, we have a responsibility to treat one another with kindness, respect, empathy, and compassion. Our entire staff will continue to work to address student wellbeing. Student services and administrative staff are available for students and parents to talk with; please contact the high school office at 414-423-4640."
The district said the incident was not a part of any school project, curriculum, or initiative.
“It’s not fair to them that’s why I spoke out about it because I am trying to have people be more aware about what’s going on,” said Smith.
Below is a statement from NAACP, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) of Wisconsin, and the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation:
The NAACP, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) of Wisconsin, and the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation are deeply concerned about the events that transpired at Franklin High School.
It has been reported and acknowledged that there was a posting of "White" and "Colored" signs over a set of school water fountains. While we appreciate that administrators issued a statement disavowing this despicable action, the incident demonstrates the need for the school and the district to take immediate and ongoing action to make the school more inclusive and respectful of different cultures.
Unfortunately, Franklin High School, like many schools and districts, does not recognize or celebrate the federal holiday recognizing the achievements of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We ask that the district consider changing that policy. Today’s action highlights the urgency of taking actions to ensure that the school celebrates tolerance and inclusion as part of its curriculum and culture.
The district has student services and staff available for those wishing to talk about the display.