The Berkeley, Calif., NAACP chapter said that black students at Berkeley High School feel “deeply shaken” by the racist threat from a student there and will closely watch how the school board responds, according to the Contra Costa Times.
“I hope the school board understands how serious this is. The black community sees this as a threat. This is not a joke. We need you to understand our pain is real,” said Rayven Wilson, a NAACP Youth Council officer, at a press conference Friday.
More than 1,500 Berkeley High students stormed out of class last Thursday to protest the message discovered on a library computer. It made references to the Ku Klux Klan and included a racial slur against black students, as well as a note reading, “Public lynching December 9th 2015.”
A 15-year-old Berkeley student confessed to creating the Web page, which looked like the school’s official home page.
“The school district stands in the shoes of parents,” NAACP Youth Council Advisor Moni Law said at the meeting. “[The youth] do not feel safe. They do not feel protected.”
Law added that there has been a series of racist incidents at the school. A noose was found swinging from a tree on the high school campus last year, and school officials recalled the yearbook over racially offensive comments.
“This behavior has been tolerated too long,” Law stated.
The president of the Berkeley NAACP, Mansour Id-Deen, also pointed to complaints of racism among Berkely High School staff members. “African-American instructors feel under attack,” he said, referring to allegations of a racial disparity in job advancement at the school.
He also emphasized that the punishment for the student who confessed to the racist posting must fit the crime. “If the person had been a Muslim or an Arab, they would have taken him out of school in leg irons,” he said, according to the Contra Costa Times.
Read more at the Contra Costa Times.