A black student attending a New Jersey Christian school has been the target of racial harassment, prompting an investigation by the school and sermons at school about how to treat one another.
According to Philly.com, the black student found two notes in his locker at the Gloucester County Christian School, complete with racial slurs. Campus administrator Pastor John Mark Turner told the news site that the school is investigating and attempting to identify the perpetrator in the case.
“It’s very disturbing,” Turner said. “We want the kids to be polite and courteous and understand that their words hurt people.”
But more than being hurtful, the latest note that the student found was downright threatening.
“I hope you die, nigger,” the note, found on Oct. 18, read.
The student had found another message at his locker on Oct. 13 but had ignored it.
Gloucester, which is located in Sewell and extends from kindergarten through 12th grade, has a predominantly white student body; about 7 percent of students are black.
The Camden County East Branch of the NAACP has launched an investigation of its own and is marking the incident as a possible hate crime, chapter president Lloyd D. Henderson confirmed.
According to Henderson, there was a similar incident reported at the school several years ago.
Sharon Jackson, the mother of the student, is not waiting around to see what might happen to her child; she has removed her son and his sibling, both of whom are eighth-grade honor students, from the school and enrolled them in a public school in a neighboring county.
After all, why would someone spend some $5,570 (Gloucester’s annual tuition for high school students) for their child to be harassed and bullied?
”We thought that was as near to being a perfect environment for our children,” Jackson said. “I was very surprised that they would have to experience hatred in a Christian school. It’s very disheartening.”
Turner said that he spoke to students about the display of racism during chapel on Tuesday, reminding them that they should treat one another with Christian love. Turner also said that the incident will be discussed in American-history class, with a focus on civil rights, according to Philly.com.
“We do care about all of our students, and I mean that sincerely,” said Turner, a former classroom teacher. “We want students who come here to be welcomed and not to feel out of place.”
Turner said that the principal attempted to identify the person behind the racist note by collecting writing samples. The students were not told why the sample was being collected. However, the school was unable to find a match.
Read more at Philly.com.