Not racist? School defends student who made image of black classmates with nooses and a swastika
A tenth grader at Christ Church Episcopal School in Greenville, South Carolina altered an image of four black classmates to include nooses around their necks and a swastika in the corner of the picture. The student doctored the photo on Snapchat, and shared it with friends via text message.
Leonard Kupersmith, the school’s headmaster, tells local news outlet WYFF that “the student was good friends with the students in the picture, and he did not intend for the picture to be racist.”
In an email to Christ Church parents on Tuesday, Kupersmith assured them the photograph is “contradictory to who Christ Church Episcopal School is and what we stand for. CCES respects racial, religious, and ethnic diversity. We are a close-knit, faith-based, and caring community.”
After the school conducted an investigation, administrators identified the student who created the incendiary image and expelled him.
Before the Christ Church identified the culprit, Kupersmith told Greenville Online that creating a picture of black students in nooses was, “a foolish and ill-considered adolescent mistake,” which he blamed on “the student’s lack of cultural literacy,” which “led to an under-estimation of the impact the powerful imagery would have.”
“Parents of the school’s black community asked to meet with administrators Wednesday morning,” Greenville Online reports.
The Christ Church Episcopal School’s website describes the institution as an “independent college preparatory school” and “one of the Greenville, SC area’s most prestigious academic institutions.”
As of this writing, the first priority listed under the school’s “Mission Goals” is: “Students will develop an appreciation of diverse cultures.”