Racist graffiti found in Parkway Central high school bathrooms, students plan walkout

Missouri

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – Parkway School District is investigating after “racist hate speech was written on bathroom walls” inside Parkway Central High School.

A student, who is not being identified, said he found the racist graffiti inside bathrooms “all over the stalls, on the ground, on the mirrors,” during school Wednesday.

“This needs to stop,” the student said. “I went to the art bathrooms, I went to the English bathrooms, and on every wall, there was slang and racism and I just think it’s very unacceptable.”

The student said he wants change.

“As a black man myself, I find it just very discriminating. I don’t know why anyone would do that. I don’t know what they would have against us,” he said. 

“I do think that the school should come up with a way to prevent this from happening again since this has happened since my freshman year of high school.” 

This is not the first incident of racially charged messages at Parkway Central High School.

In 2017, a racist message was written inside a bathroom, and in 2019, students from PCH appeared in a racially charged video where one student was heard saying threatening things against African-Americans, and another student chanted the words, “slavery, slavery, slavery.”

A group of Parkway High School students part of a group called Students for Progressive Change sent out a statement Wednesday:

“High school students in Parkway (Students for Progressive Change) have been fighting for racial discrimination policy and tangible changes for years, but have gone unheard as racist incidents continue to happen with little to no repercussions for the perpetrators. Yet again here occurs another racist attack in the halls of Parkway Schools.”

The principal of PCH, Tim McCarthy, sent a letter to families Wednesday: 

“Regretfully, I am sending this email to share with you information regarding a serious incident at Central High this afternoon: racist hate speech was written on bathroom walls at school. This act is an affront to the core values of our community and a serious violation of our discipline code. Please know that we take this offense seriously and will work with district officials to investigate the incident and hold anyone involved accountable for their actions. If you have any information that would assist us in the investigation, please contact a grade level administrator or me.

“Also know that we remain steadfast in our commitment to supporting all and each of our students. High school is a place for young people to feel connected, supported, engaged, challenged, cared for, and loved. Acts of hate, whether they be rooted in racism, religious bigotry, xenophobia, homophobia, or any other form of prejudice, cause our students to feel the opposite of each of those emotions. Our core values of respect, integrity and caring remind and inspire us to be our best selves with and for one another, which helps us create a positive school community for all students. This is the vision I know we share for Central High!

“As we prepare for school tomorrow, Central High administrators, counselors, teachers, and staff will be here to support our students and respond to the harm this incident has understandably caused. If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.”

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