After racist and otherwise offensive material was discovered at LOHS yesterday, Principal Rollin Dickinson delivered an address this morning to the staff and student body revealing that multiple issues of the same nature as last years’ numerous incidents have been reported over the past few months.
In his address, Dickinson listed off a series of events reported over the past few weeks, saying:
“We had a couple posters appear on walls incorrectly asserting that gender is determined by chromosomes; we had some inappropriate team names included in a lunch-time game of Kahoot!; we had some race-oriented propaganda posters put on light posts near our campus on Country Club Road and in our city; we have had students post inappropriate things on social media; and we had some racist and homophobic graffiti in one of our bathrooms yesterday.”
The majority of the student population had no knowledge about the events prior to the address, although some students were subjected to the graphic material over the past few weeks.
The posters regarding gender hung outside of the English hall bathrooms were reported two weeks ago. The poster reportedly said “If I had a dollar for every gender, I would have two dollars.” After the posters were taken down, there appeared to be no follow up until today.
Yesterday many students saw the posters depicting mass shooters of color with the heading “‘Mass Shooting Are A White Male Problem’” put up around the crosswalk on Country Club. The signs were reported at break just before 10:00 a.m., though by 3:00 p.m. the posters were still hanging on and around school property.
In addition to those posters, other propaganda posters were reportedly seen on Country Club. The posters originated from the “Cascadia” website, an Alt-Right white supremacist group in the Pacific Northwest.
The issues all came to head yesterday, though, when graffiti in the boys bathroom in the science hall was reported just before 2:00 p.m. It read, “I hate gay n**gers” written in orange crayon and spanning about three feet long.
It is speculated that the handwriting of the graffiti matches the handwriting of graffiti of a similar nature that was reported last year and made waves in the community, prompting LOHS to appear on news networks like KOIN, Oregon Live, The Portland Tribune, Willamette Week and others. The graffiti sparked mass conversation throughout the school, though the new incidents seem to indicate that the conversation must, and will, continue.
In Dickinson’s response to the reported incidents he wrote that he is still “confident we are off to a great start this year,” and insisted that “the good work we do each day far overpowers these isolated acts.”
He also invited students to go to the first meeting of the Diversity Council after school on Thursday in room 216, which will help to plan a series of Laker Seminars that will discuss the issues posed to the community, and encouraged students with any knowledge of any of the listed events to come forward with information.