Highline High’s Spirit Rock vandalized with hate speech overnight


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Highline High School’s Spirit Rock – which has been vandalized at least twice over the last two years – was again a target overnight, as “symbols and words of hate targeting our LGBTQ students and students of color” were painted on it.

School officials say that when the hate speech was discovered, it was painted over immediately by the staff member who discovered it.

“Since it was painted over so early in the morning, it is quite possible that most all of you are not aware of this vandalism, but the fact that so few students and community members might have seen the hate speech themselves does not diminish the degree to which this is an assault on our community that demands a response,” Co-Principals Clint Sallee & Tremain Holloway said in an email.

“Our hope is that in working together in response we can take important steps in this direction in making Highline High School the welcoming community we want it to be,” they added.

Here’s more from their email:

“The most immediate response we can make is to ensure everyone that a full investigation is underway and if the person or persons responsible for this hate speech are identified to be students here at Highline they will face severe consequences for these hurtful and despicable actions.

“All that being said, this response is not enough. We feel that it is important that we convene our students and staff to hear from them about what they think is the best and most forceful actions we can take to help ensure the safety of all our students at Highline and bring this richly diverse community together even through the most difficult times.

“To this end, we are inviting students to a discussion and listening session immediately after school today in room 864. We are committed to staying as long as students would like to share ideas, express frustrations, and plan next steps. Simultaneous to this student meeting, we will be conducting a staff meeting to allow our teachers and staff to collaborate on this problem and discuss their next steps to support our students.

“This fall before the school year began, we invited our teachers to hang on the walls of the school and in their classroom ‘We Welcome’ posters that communicate our most crucial and strongly held commitments to all our students.  Those posters read:

“WE WELCOME

  • All Ages
  • All Races
  • All Religions
  • All Political Affiliations
  • All Genders
  • All Languages
  • All Countries of Origin
  • All Sexual Orientations
  • All Sizes
  • All Abilities
  • All People

“We stand here with you.  You are safe here.

“The events of last night serve as a vivid reminder of how much work there is to do if we are going to live up to this promise. Our hope is that in working together in response we can take important steps in this direction in making Highline High School the welcoming community we want it to be.

“Sincerely,
Clint Sallee & Tremain Holloway”

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