Olathe South High School’s principal reassured parents and students over the weekend that the school is “thoroughly investigating” after a student’s racist homecoming proposal, and he vowed to immediately address the incident “in accordance with our Student Code of Conduct.”
Dale Longenecker, principal at Olathe South, said in an email to parents that the school is “committed to creating an inclusive and safe environment for ALL our students.”
His message came after a photo of two white students holding a sign and smiling began circulating social media over the weekend, drawing much outrage.
The sign reads: “If I was Black I would be picking cotton but I’m white so I’m picking you for HOCO.”
“The type of behavior displayed in the social media post does not meet the expectations of our core values,” Longenecker said in a statement. ”Any behavior like this will be immediately addressed in accordance with our Student Code of Conduct.”
Maggie Kolb, a spokeswoman for Olathe Public Schools told The Star on Sunday that the district became aware of the offensive post on social media early Friday evening.
The homecoming sign, which some have described as “disgusting,” was the second time over the course of a week that a Kansas City-area school found itself embroiled in a racist incident involving students.
Earlier this month, a petition calling to bring back slavery circulated at Park Hill South High School and the district at large.
Park Hill South principal Kerrie Herren called the petition “unacceptable,” and added that “the impact of these sentiments are being felt heavily within our school.”
“We are outraged, hurt and saddened that this occurred,” Herren said in a statement to the student body. “This is not who we want to be at Park Hill South. Our differences make us stronger. We do not tolerate discrimination or harassment.”
Read the Olathe South principal’s full statement to the student body below:
Earlier this evening, the district was made aware of an offensive post circulating on social media. I felt it was important to share that we are working to thoroughly investigate the situation and contact all parties involved, including student guardians. At Olathe South and in the Olathe Public Schools, we are committed to creating an inclusive and safe environment for ALL our students. The type of behavior displayed in the social media post does not meet the expectations of our core values. Any behavior like this will be immediately addressed in accordance with our Student Code of Conduct.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me. As always, thank you for your support of the Falcon community.
Dale Longenecker, Principal