Racial Slurs in LOHS Bathrooms

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On Wednesday March 1, 2017 several racial slurs were found written in three boys bathrooms at LOHS. The handwriting is similar within all three bathrooms. Found in these bathrooms was the word “nigger” as well as “kill the niggers.”  

Administration was notified, and they are working on coming up with a “solution.”

Back in November, LOHS was in the news after Lake Views released an edition titled “This is Your School.” This edition highlighted LO’s racist incidences through a timeline, accompanied by an editorial titled “It’s Time To Stop Lying About Our Racism,” and a piece written by reporter Daniel Nsengimana titled “Mass Exodus of Blacks From LO.”

Following this edition, local news platforms, including The Oregonian and The Lake Oswego Review covered the story, further highlighting LO’s troubling and disturbing issue with racism in the community.

In response the administration began a series of “Laker Seminars,” the intent of discussing racism and its prevalence in our community. These Laker Seminars occur once a month, requiring students to have 40 minute long discussions, mediated by their second period teacher. The first Laker Seminar took place back in January, with a powerful video, “The N Word.” The video interviewed students of color as well as teachers. The video allowed for follow up discussion.

The second seminar focused on Black History Month. Students were asked to read a piece that explores the relevance and importance of having Black History Month all together. This seminar created questions about the legitimacy of Black History Month as well as, once again,  highlighting the lack of prevalence it has to this particular community.

Overall, the feelings on these Laker Seminars has been mixed, with some students finding them reductive, unimportant and useless while other students have seen some value in designating time to discuss the race issues that arise within the school.

The question now – what have these seminars truly accomplished? Has it created a space for students to explore a once taboo topic? Has it created a space in which students can further with the “jokes” such as this recent incident?


12 thoughts on “Racial Slurs in LOHS Bathrooms”

  1. In the 80s LO was one of the most hateful and uninclusive bubbles to grow up in. It appears that it still is. Glad I got out when I did.

  2. The lack of action taken by LO administration is appalling. Statements and classes about friendliness do not help end racism. Kudos for trying, but it did not work. They need to work tirelessly to identify this handwriting, and expel this student immediately (after due process of course). Letting these kids get away with it will not doing anything and half-assed efforts at “investigating” will not make it stop.

  3. The administration has still not issued a “zero tolerance” statement. Families and students need to be told in no uncertain terms that students engaging in hate speech will be expelled. I appreciate that the administration wants to teach about hate and teach about culture, but teenagers writing this kind of garbage learn this at home, and families need clear messages that this WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.

  4. Lake Oswego High School produced some of the most hateful students back in the late 80’s. My boyfriend at the time, Dave Mathers, was relentlessly bullied for being different. (Even though he was male and white). He was tormented and scarred from high school, and eventually committed suicide.
    I was bullied by male students of Lake Oswego High as they worked at their stocker-jobs at Safeway, when I shopped there as a patron.
    I cringe to think of who these men are now, as part of society.
    I’ll never forget, and this was 30 years ago.

  5. I truly don’t think any censorship is needed her, I think Camryn’s level of intensity is exactly how it should be! This is a death threat, and it needs to be seen as one. The “shock factor” that got you here, that’s nice and all but you shouldn’t be focused on the image so much as the act itself. Despicable such privileged and wealthy students still can’t see themselves for what they really are.

  6. I’m not an LO student, but I was wondering about the editorial decision to publish the slurs without any form of censorship. Respectfully, what was the reasoning behind this?

    1. We often censor the ugly to soften the blow. While it may not seem politically correct to keep them uncensored, the harshness of the pictures should serve as a way to connect with people’s emotional appeal.

  7. I’m discusted that this is happening in our community and that LOHS administration hasn’t taken a stronger stance on “no tolerance” for racism. This just shows me that white privilege is still more important. Are we even trying to teach our youth in the Lake Oswego area about their white privilege and what that means?! This is hurtful, and not the first indecent. As a white woman from LO, I’m deeply sorry that this is happening to Black lives in our community.

  8. I seriously can’t believe that some people would have wrote that especially when we literally just got done talking about Black History Month like seriously come on guy. For one it’s rude,mean,sad and most definitely disgusting and racist.

  9. “Jokes”

    That word alone to refer to a racist death threat indicates clearly to me that wayyyyyyyyyy more work need to be done.

    Period. Full stop.

  10. I clearly remember the racism when I went to LOHS. There were twin brothers who kept bullying another student, calling him a sand n—r. I stood up, walked over to them and said that I would happily kick them both in the balls if they didn’t shut the hell up and apologize.

    Don’t even get me started on students with disabilities and their treatment on the school bus…

    I grew up in this community and left as soon as I was able. At the time, the lack of diversity stood out like a sore thumb. Apparently it still does. Glad to see that the administrators are doing something about it, but I would like to measure its effectiveness and look for opportunities to make it more powerful. They should contact my friend, Frankie Meeink. Former racist skinhead who helped ID Timothy McVay. Frank travels around high schools talking to kids, one-on-one. Powerful stuff.

  11. Until real consequences happen to the culprits and The Superintendent takes a hard stance to address the problem it’s just all fluff to save face. When has the administration ever reached to the people this is actually directed to? When has she called a round table? When has she ever said “I apologize” instead you have a few teachers and staff who send a condolence card or quick note to apologize on behalf of the community but no one from that Superindent and her office have said “I’m sorry that your children have suffered and we’re a target of this hideous act.” Right is right and wrong is wrong.

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