Polson High Students Wear Shirts Proclaiming ‘White Power’ and ‘Trump 2016′ During School Color Wars
There's an uproar at Polson High School this week after at least two students came to school wearing shirts with phrases like 'White Power' and 'White Pride' scrawled on them next to an endorsement of Donald Trump.
According to Polson School District Superintendent Rex Weltz the shirts were worn on September 29 during a school Homecoming competition called "Color Wars" and some members from the Junior class decided to wear "offensive and inappropriate clothes."
It is not clear if any students have been disciplined for wearing the shirts, but a superintendent's memo states that the school system will take action "which may include discipline for the individual students.
In response to the shirts, a rally will be held at the school football field called the "Empower Our Native Youth Rally" with the goal of "speaking out against racism."
School officials say they "applaud the students that stood up against this conduct" and will continue to forbid discrimination.
KGVO news spoke to Superintendent Weltz who said only two students were found to have worn discriminatory shirts and that according to school policy they were asked to cover up or to exchange the shirts for something that fits school policy. Weltz also said that homecoming will continue next year, but that things will be different and the school intends to spend more time discussing issues of race and racism with students.
Below is the full memo sent out by Superintendent Weltz:
Yesterday a few of our students took part in an inexcusable incident involving Homecoming activities. For many years, individual classes were assigned colors and competed to see how many students would dress in the assigned colors for the day (Senior Class – Black, Junior Class – White, Sophomore Class – Blue, Freshman Class – Green). This practice was called Color Wars. Yesterday, a few students used this Homecoming practice to wear offensive and inappropriate clothing to school. When staff members were made aware of the offensive and inappropriate clothing, they immediately took steps to remedy the situation. Before the staff members were made aware of the offensive and inappropriate clothing and could take action, however, students chose on their own to post pictures to their personal social media and those pictures have circulated far past Polson. The Polson High School staff did not condone this conduct and addressed the incident with the students.
The Polson School District does not and will not tolerate harassment or discrimination in any form toward any person. As a District, we are disappointed in the actions of those few students and will take appropriate action based on our policies and procedures, which may include discipline for the individual students. We applaud the students who stood up against this conduct and will continue to educate all of our students about our policies and practices forbidding discrimination in any form.