On the day after election day, students were recorded walking through the hallway of York County School of Technology shouting “white power” while carrying a Trump campaign sign. Preliminary reports indicate that this was part of a recent pattern of race-based harassment and bullying of students of color at the school. Parents of several students of color responded to the latest incident by taking their children home from school Thursday because they did not feel safe.
Schools have a legal obligation to create a space where all students feel physically safe and can learn. This includes ensuring that the school does not become a hostile environment for any of its students because of their race or color. Reports indicate that administrators responded to the recent incident by investigating and pursuing disciplinary action against students involved in harassment, meeting with students to assure them of the school’s commitment to their safety, and conducting an in-service training for teachers to remind them of their obligations to maintain and promote a safe learning environment.
The ACLU commends York County School of Technology for taking swift action in furtherance of its ongoing duty to protect all students. The ACLU stands ready to assist students, schools, and communities across Pennsylvania in safeguarding the rights of vulnerable minorities.