‘Whites Only’ Sign Purportedly Found in Georgia High School Was False Flag Intended to Spark Discussion on Race, Officials Determine
A high school in west Georgia launched an investigation last week after a student discovered a “whites only” sign in the restroom. Now, officials say the note was a hoax intended to spark a conversation on race.
Bremen High School student Treavor Smith posted a photo of the note to social media after finding it in the restroom Thursday. Smith said the sign, which reads “WHITES ONLY; if not, use the other bathroom :),” spoke to a larger issue at the predominately white school.
“I brought this to light because it’s not the first time that racism has taken over our school,” Smith told CBS 46.
After further review of the incident, however, Principal Tim Huff said officials determined the note was, in fact, a hoax.
“The orchestrated behavior was intended to incite a response around an extremely sensitive topic,” Huff said in a statement over the weekend. “The student(s) involved are being dealt with in terms of discipline. It does not appear the sign was ever posted for students to see.”
According to school officials, about 90 percent of students in the Bremen city school district are white, while just 9 percent are Black. Bremen High School specifically only has a minority student enrollment of 9 percent, according to U.S. News & World Report.
For parents, students, and alumni of the small-town Georgia school, the alleged racist incident came as no surprise.
“This is nothing new at Bremen High School!” parent Tabitha Johnson, whose own daughter was the victim of a racist incident, wrote on Facebook.
“A statement was recently made that we must address these issues and just move on,” Johnson said. “Believe me when you are a person of color, we can never just move on from racism. We deal with it everyday!!!! Something must change at Bremen High School!!!!! Students tend to emulate the direction of their leadership!!! What does your leadership stand for?”
Another Facebook user said the incident shows “[we’re] going backwards in this country.”
The district superintendent condemned Thursday’s act and said the student responsible could face suspension or a move to an alternative school.
Principal Tim Huff declined to answer questions about the incident but confirmed Friday that officials had nabbed the student in question.
“We have investigated the incident, determined who placed the message in the restroom, and are administering consequences,” Huff told Yahoo News in a statement. “[Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act] prevents me from providing further details about the discipline.”