A Virginia community is demanding answers a girls’ basketball team reported seeing KKK signs on Monday.
Ahead of the game, Fluvanna County High School players had been using an English classroom as a locker room at Western Albemarle High School when they found a racist poster in the classroom. The poster allegedly had pictures of guns, a racial slur, and KKK symbols.
The community calls for the school to do better
After the incident with KKK signs, Western Albemarle released a statement saying that the English class had been analyzing the book To Kill a Mockingbird.
But parents and community members at a school board meeting weren’t buying it. One woman pointed out that it isn’t necessary to use hate speech to discuss racism, and other parents said that the incident wasn’t isolated. They claimed that inappropriate language and racial slurs have been hurled against Black players at other sporting events as well.
“The day we’re informed we’re playing Western Albemarle, we have to mentally prepare ourselves to play them—because they are known for using racist slurs and saying racist comments to us and other school districts,” said Kataria Flowers, an athlete at Orange County High School, according to local station NBC29.
Sherry Flowers of Orange County spoke out at the meeting about the effect that this kind of racism can have on children.
“The feeling of your child coming to you upset and crying because someone has said something to them inappropriate because of the color of their skin, you have no idea what that feels like,” Flowers said.
During the meeting, community members called for the teachers and the team to be held responsible for their actions and for the school to add a policy on racism to its handbook in order to prevent or better respond to any future racist incidents.