A top public high school in Illinois is trying to clean up its image after a Black Barbie doll was found with a noose around its neck last month.
Jose Torres, the president of the high performing Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Chicago sent a letter to parents after the lynched doll was found in a lounge where at least 10 students were present on Sept. 17, The NY Daily News reports.
Black Barbie doll with noose around its neck found at nationally top-ranked public high school in Illinois
“I write you with a heavy heart,” the school president posted,
“Our community suffers from the same ills affecting our entire American society…"https://t.co/6krhGZzKUv
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) September 30, 2019
“I write you with a heavy heart,” Torres wrote in an open letter on the school’s website.
“Our IMSA community suffers from the same ills affecting our entire American society where hate, bias and racial acrimony have replaced love, acceptance, tolerance and inclusion.”
Torres explained that an “unknown person tied a pink piece of cloth around a bronze skinned “Barbie-like” doll’s throat, and pinned it up from a cork-board in the student lounge.”
“There is no place for hate crimes at IMSA,” Torres stated. “We take this matter very seriously.”
According to the Chicago Tribune police were notified and surveillance footage was reviewed in an effort to catch the suspect.
The lounge Torres explained is “an area of campus that is meant to be a safe and inclusive space in which students have fun, relax, converse and otherwise unwind with friends.”
“As much as we refer to IMSA as a bunker, we are not immune to our greater society’s influence,” Torres wrote.
Torres also noted a number of measures that the school enacted to address cultural sensitivity including “working with Multicultural Advocates and other student leaders in each of the halls to facilitate a discussion with students,” which reportedly took place Sept. 26.
Torres explained that a number of parents reached out to him, asking that he ensure their child’s safety. But he explained “society’s influence,” unfortunately, is having a negative impact that he can’t control.
“Over the past week, I have corresponded with several parents who have asked me to assure them that their sons and daughters will not encounter bias or discrimination at IMSA ever again. I wish I could do so. As the Hate at School Report states, “Something ugly is happening in America’s schools.” Unfortunately, as much as we refer to IMSA as a bunker, we are not immune to our greater society’s influence.”