Middle school boy threatens students at Unity Point School in wake of ‘White Privilege’ card scandal – The Daily Egyptian
A seventh-grade student who handed out “white privilege” cards to black students at Unity Elementary School has repeatedly threatened to harm students and school staff.
Terrisha Adams, a parent of sixth-grade twins who attend Unity Elementary School, raised safety concerns with Unity Point school staff after hearing about incidents from her children, who also received the “White Privilege” cards.
The cards were titled “White Privilege Card Trumps Everything”. The card number was “0045 0045 0045 0045” symbolically referring to former 45th President Donald Trump. The card symbolized membership from birth to death, with the holder’s name being “Scott Free”. On the back of the card was: “This card grants its bearer happiness and success because it is the color of your skin and not the choices you make that determine your ability to succeed.
Adams contacted the school superintendent and received no response until she took to social media to recant the event, she said. SSuperintendent Dr. Laurie James-Gross contacted Adams after she posted photos of the map on Facebook, she said. The superintendent wished Adams hadn’t posted on social media, although Adams allegedly contacted the school several times before posting, she said.
Adams said the school initially refused to suspend the seventh grader because suspensions are considered a last resort by school administrators. Adams contacted the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, and the student was later suspended after Sergeant John Huffman responded to the situation.
The student made additional threats to the school community after being suspended. School officials claimed that student reports of violent threats were just rumours, Adams said. School officials say they have collected all of the student cards, but Adams said his children and other children still have them.
A letter was sent by the school on Friday February 18 saying: “Unity Point is aware of rumors that have been circulating regarding a potential threat to the safety of students at school yesterday afternoon and today. There was a thorough investigation and no hard evidence was found that would indicate the veracity of the rumors of a potential threat to student safety.
The letter concluded that schools respect parents’ decision to withdraw their children from school and that student safety is their highest priority. The school has “eye support” from Deputy Vaughn of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department as a precaution. Adams said it was his efforts and those of other parents that garnered support for the school. Unity Elementary School has postponed its next board meeting to Tuesday, February 22 at 4:30 p.m.
Staff reporter Jamilah Lewis can be reached on [email protected] or on Twitter @jamilahlewis. To stay up to date with all your Southern Illinois news, follow the Daily Egyptian at Facebook and Twitter.