Racism at Deaf School

Is it just me or are people noticing a resurgence of racism, particularly in cases involving teenagers and young adults? It could just be the news is picking up these cases after seeing the demand for Jena 6 coverage. But over the weekend, another racial charged incident involving students at a deaf school took place. I’ve always really associated racism and discrimination with older adults and maybe teenagers in the Deep South. Older people tend to pull the I grew up in a different time card, but being a teenager today means you grew in a very political correct era where teachers have told you since you were 5 that discrimination is wrong.

WASHINGTON (CNN) — A weekend incident with racial overtones at a high school for deaf students could result in criminal charges with “enhanced penalties for a hate crime,” Metro Police Chief Cathy Lanier said Wednesday. A black student was held against his will and then released with “KKK” and swastikas drawn on him in marker at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf on Sunday, she said.

The incident began when a group of black students and a group of white students were in a dorm. “My understanding is the two groups engaged in friendly horseplay,” she said. But, she said, the groups got “angry with each other.” The two groups separated, she said, but later, six white students and one black student — all between the ages of 15 and 19 — took one of the black students into a dorm room and “held him there against his will.”

“They used markers to write ‘KKK’ and draw swastikas on the student,” Lanier said. The student was released after about 45 minutes. He notified dorm and school authorities, who called police.

The school is a residential high school on the campus of Gallaudet University, a higher education facility for deaf and hard of hearing people. The high school is administered as a division of the university’s Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center.

Gallaudet provost Stephen Weiner said the school does “not tolerate any action, behavior of this type.” “We are taking action,” he said. “We are looking at programs to help students understand we are a school with a diverse population.” “This incident is intolerable,” he said. “That’s why the Metro police are involved. That’s how serious we are about this incident.”


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