Pine-Richland School District investigates racist post on social media; Parents Demand Culture Change – WTAE Pittsburgh | Directory Mayhem

The Pine-Richland School District said Wednesday it was investigating “a racist message that was spread by a student at Pine-Richland High School.” Body. The picture shows a male college student holding a sign that reads, “If I were black I’d pick cotton, but I’m white so I’m picking you for homecoming.” A female student stands next to him and makes an obscene saying gesture .[/image.“I feel that families of color are going to feel not welcome and marginalized by the school district not addressing that these things actually happen,” parent, Angel Rakowski said.“Absolutely disgusting, I mean, down to the effort taken, that cotton was glued onto the poster board, I mean, this was thought out, this was calculated,” parent and member of the Pine Richland Anti-Racist Association, Alyssa Gerlack said.Gerlack is a mother of three and a member of the Pine-Richland Anti-Racist Coalition. “It’s a group of Black community members whose kids are in the school district, or white community members, like me, who have kids of mixed race, or just allies,” Gerlack said.The coalition shared the post with the school principal, but it’s unclear when exactly the district became aware of the post.The district sent out a letter saying, “The district is aware of a social media post involving a Pine-Richland High School student. The language in that post is highly offensive. We are working to take appropriate next steps. The district values a school culture that is safe, supportive and welcoming for all students.”Gerlack said she thinks expulsion is appropriate and it should be handled seriously.“I think this is part of the problem that when something like this happens, what do we do? What is the protocol? I think it’s kind of wild that we don’t know,” Gerlack said.“It was pretty heinous you know and sensitive right and so clearly the child doesn’t understand why it’s offensive, and I think that’s a big problem in the school district,” Rakowski said.The district issued a second statement Wednesday afternoon, attributed to Superintendent Brian Miller.”As we became aware of a racist message generated by a Pine-Richland High School student, we sent an initial message to our entire school community. The purpose of that message was to acknowledge awareness of the situation and communicate proactively with our students, staff, parents and community. The student’s message was completely inappropriate and highly offensive. We appreciate that students and parents immediately brought the situation to our attention. We are working to take appropriate next steps.”The Pine-Richland School District is opposed to racism in any form. We stand with our black and brown families. It is our goal to strengthen a positive culture for every student at Pine-Richland. The foundation of learning is established in a safe and supportive environment. That environment should embrace diversity in all forms. That includes differences in race, gender, religion and more.”As a community, it is critical that we engage in conversations and actions that strengthen school culture. We continue to be committed to this effort.”Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 has made efforts to reach out to the parents of the two students in the photo for comment but were not able to speak with them.

The Pine-Richland School District said Wednesday it is investigating “a racist message generated by a Pine-Richland High School student.”

The district sent out a letter to its community saying they are aware of a social media post that’s been circulating to the student body. The picture shows a male student holding a sign that says, “If I was Black I would be picking cotton, but I’m white, so I’m picking you for homecoming.”

A female student is standing beside him, making an obscene gesture.

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“I feel that families of color are going to feel not welcome and marginalized by the school district not addressing that these things actually happen,” parent, Angel Rakowski said.

“Absolutely disgusting, I mean, down to the effort taken, that cotton was glued onto the poster board, I mean, this was thought out, this was calculated,” parent and member of the Pine Richland Anti-Racist Association, Alyssa Gerlack said.

Gerlack is a mother of three and a member of the Pine-Richland Anti-Racist Coalition.

“It’s a group of Black community members whose kids are in the school district, or white community members, like me, who have kids of mixed race, or just allies,” Gerlack said.

The coalition shared the post with the school principal, but it’s unclear when exactly the district became aware of the post.

The district sent out a letter saying, “The district is aware of a social media post involving a Pine-Richland High School student. The language in that post is highly offensive. We are working to take appropriate next steps. The district values a school culture that is safe, supportive and welcoming for all students.”

Gerlack said she thinks expulsion is appropriate and it should be handled seriously.

“I think this is part of the problem that when something like this happens, what do we do? What is the protocol? I think it’s kind of wild that we don’t know,” Gerlack said.

“It was pretty heinous you know and sensitive right and so clearly the child doesn’t understand why it’s offensive, and I think that’s a big problem in the school district,” Rakowski said.

The district issued a second statement Wednesday afternoon, attributed to Superintendent Brian Miller.

“As we became aware of a racist message generated by a Pine-Richland High School student, we sent an initial message to our entire school community. The purpose of that message was to acknowledge awareness of the situation and communicate proactively with our students, staff, parents and community. The student’s message was completely inappropriate and highly offensive. We appreciate that students and parents immediately brought the situation to our attention. We are working to take appropriate next steps.

“The Pine-Richland School District is opposed to racism in any form. We stand with our black and brown families. It is our goal to strengthen a positive culture for every student at Pine-Richland. The foundation of learning is established in a safe and supportive environment. That environment should embrace diversity in all forms. That includes differences in race, gender, religion and more.

“As a community, it is critical that we engage in conversations and actions that strengthen school culture. We continue to be committed to this effort.”

Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 has made efforts to reach out to the parents of the two students in the photo for comment but were not able to speak with them.

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