Students at a Maryland high school passed around a petition last week that promoted white supremacy and used racially charged language, the Capital Gazette reports.
The petition, discovered by teachers at Arundel High School in Gambrills, was titled “Kool Kids Klan” and had two signatures when it was confiscated. School officials also contacted Arundel County police, who decided no crime had been committed. Disciplinary action against the students involved is pending, however.
“I am shocked, dismayed, and quite frankly, angered that such a piece of material would be produced, much less appear in one of our schools,” wrote Superintendent George Arlotto in a letter. “It is unconscionable to me how anyone could believe this material is anything but horrifying, and it has absolutely no place in our schools or school system.”
“This kind of reprehensible behavior has no place in any school in Anne Arundel County,” Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh said in a news release. “Our schools should be safe places that embrace diversity and reject racism. I commend Superintendent George Arlotto and school administrators for their swift and effective handling of this unfortunate incident.”
Wrote school board President Stacy Korbelak:
This is an issue far bigger than any single school. We are all bombarded with misguided messages on a daily basis that attempt to divide our society and create intolerance. We must redouble our efforts as a community to remind each other, and especially our children, that (in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.): “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
We are … appreciative of the conversations that have taken place between our school system and leaders of the African-American community in the wake of this incident. We look forward to having similar ongoing conversations with governmental, civic, and faith-based agencies and organizations so we can collectively chart a course of tolerance and appreciation for diversity that continues to elevate all students and eliminate all gaps.