An Atlanta HBCU that is normally known for being forward thinking is now under fire for discrimination on campus.
Students at Spelman College are alleging that hateful messages were left at their door, because one of them is transgender. The school is just the second historically Black women’s college to announce a policy accepting transgender students on campus.
Spelman senior Amber Warren says she found a note that read, “We don’t want you. F*** you freaks. Keep Spelman safe. No queers,” scribbled on a piece of ripped lined notebook paper.
“I’m just hurt because I feel like I worked so hard to create safe spaces for everybody,” she told 11Alive. “Even though I did all this work, it’s not about individuals, it’s really about unity.”
Warren is the president of Afrikete, the historically Black women’s college’s LGBTQ organization, and says this isn’t the first time she’s been targeted.
Previously she received a similar message after an announcement of there being a “pride week” celebrating LGBTQ students.
“The first note kind of did come out when Spelman connection posted that pride week was coming,” Warren explained. “The second note came at the end of pride week.”
The uptick in anti-queer sentiments began just months after the school announced plans in September to accept transgender students.
“Keep your (transgenfer slur) out of our bathrooms thanks,” a prior message read in reference to Warren’s partner, a trans man, who is also a student living on campus.
In a letter sent to the Spelman community, President Mary S. Campbell wrote:
“Like same-sex colleges all over the country, Spelman is taking into account evolving definitions of gender identity in a changing world.”
While Spelman’s new policy will roll out next school year, Warren thinks the school has some work to do in order to make all students feel safe.
During her interview with the local news station Warren received an email from the Dean of College Relations. Apparently, a letter went out to all students saying the notes were unacceptable and a violation of Spelman principles and values and code of conduct.
“It’s just an email to me,” Warren said. “It’s a start, but it’s not helping what happened. It’s not really putting any fear of reprimandation to the students.”
She hopes Spelman will be less reactionary and instead take stronger proactive measures to educate her classmates on the importance of tolerance.