Political message painted on Highline High Spirit Rock upsets students

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A political message was painted over a previous one declaring tolerance on the “Spirit Rock” on the lawn in front of Highline High School Wednesday night (June 7), and some students are very upset.

Apparently some students painted a “pro-Trump” statement over a previous one that showed support for LGBTQ Pride Month, then shared it on social media with the headline “Fixed it.”

Many students were upset when the newly-painted rock was discovered, and quickly painted it over again:

This incident quickly went viral on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Catherine Carbone Rogers, Chief Communications Officer for Highline Public Schools told The B-Town Blog that there is no known protocol for painting the rock.

“There is a long tradition of painting the rock,” Carbone Rogers said. “My understanding is that it is not an officially sanctioned thing – you don’t have to get permission, etc. — but students spontaneously do it, and have for years.”

Late Thursday afternoon, Superintendent Susan Enfield sent out an email to students and parents.

“I want to address recent events at Highline High School involving painted messages on the spirit rock that stands in front of the school,” Enfield said via email. “I know that the messages on the rock have led to some unrest at the school and left some students and staff feeling scared and angry. This is unacceptable.”

Enfield continued:

The board and I are deeply committed to working with you to ensure that all students–and staff–feel safe and welcome in our schools, and so we take incidents like these very seriously. Sadly, we cannot always prevent them from happening, but how we respond and educate ourselves and our students matters. My team and I are working very closely with Highline Principal Vicki Fisher, and on Monday we will be at Highline for an all-school assembly that addresses the role we all must play in creating the kind of compassionate, respectful communities we want to see in our schools.

These are challenging times. It is in the midst of our greatest challenges, however, that we have the opportunity to come together and make real change. I ask that you join me in being part of the change we must bring about in Highline so that all students and staff feel safe and supported.

We are Highline. And we are better than this.


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