South Carolina students spark outrage by placing prank 'whites only' and 'coloreds only' signs above water fountains
According to teenagers at West Ashley High School in Charleston, the act was to mimic the racial segregation of public facilities that was commonplace until the 1960s.
Students at a South Carolina high school faced a major backlash after they placed signs reading "whites only" and "colored only" above two water basins on the school premises.
According to teenagers of multiple races at West Ashley High School in Charleston, the brazen act on November 30 was designed to be a "prank" mimicking the racial segregation of public facilities that was commonplace in the south until the 1960s.
Photos of the signs attracted widespread outrage after being posted to Facebook, and the school is currently in damage control following the incident, ABC 4 reports.
"I'm lost for words. Today someone decided this was okay", one woman wrote in the comments section. "This is not a prank at all, this is learned behavior", another wrote. "These kids need to be expelled, this is disturbing and disgusting."
According to Niche, West Ashley High School is famous for being one of the most racially diverse schools in South Carolina, with the student body comprising of 46% African-American and 43% white pupils.
The remaining 11% is comprised of Hispanics and other races. Ryan Cumback, the school's principal, sent a letter to parents informing them of the controversial act moments after the signs went viral on social media. "I understand how upsetting the image posted on social media is," he wrote, per ABC 4. "That is why we acted swiftly in addressing the matter and why I am reaching out tonight."
"Please know I welcome your feedback, input, and concerns on the situation", Principal Cumback added. "It is my sincere hope that we (staff, parents, students) can come together as a community by not allowing the actions of a few students to define who we are."
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Charleston County School District deemed the prank was "extremely offensive and distasteful." According to local police, the school has since disciplined the students. However, they will not be facing any criminal charges pertaining to the incident.