Oregon City High School students plan walkout after photo including racial slur goes viral
OREGON CITY, Ore. (KATU) - Dozens of Oregon City High School students are planning to walk out of class Thursday morning, after a photo of students holding a sign including a racial slur went viral on Twitter.
A photo posted earlier this week shows a group of OCHS students holding a sign that reads, "Welcome back to the farm, [N-word]."
The picture has caused a ripple effect online, having been shared hundreds of times in Oregon City and beyond.
Larry Didway, the superintendent of Oregon City schools, sent a letter out to parents Wednesday afternoon, saying in part: "We are addressing these topics internally with the appropriate students and staff as a part of our commitment to provide a safe and respectful learning environment for all students." He called the photo appalling and unacceptable.
One student in the original photo posted an apology on Twitter. Part of it read: "I apologize to every single person this offends. I screwed up by being in this picture and I know that but I can’t change it now as much as I wish I could.”
Students say the next day someone wore a Black Lives Matter shirt to school. She got home to find a note left on a doorstep that reads, "Go back to picking cotton, [N-word]. Black Lives doesn't (sic) matter."
OCHS students say these photos have been the main topic of conversation at school.
They say the principal made an announcement on Tuesday about the original photo. Teachers have been discussing racism in the classrooms.
Nathan Goodman, a junior, says one of his teachers fears for her 2-year-old son.
"She was saying she doesn’t want her son to grow up in a world where people are racist towards everybody," Goodman said.
Kiarra Haggerty, a senior, says they discussed these photos in her advisory class.
"They asked if any students have any questions about it or how they feel and we talk about it," Haggerty said.
Haggerty says these photos made her "sick to her stomach" and Goodman says "they are not representing our school well at all."
Students plan to walk out of class at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.
They are also planning a vigil on Thursday night, but the plans for that have not been released.