Students punished for designating 'Whites only' water fountain at their school
A water fountain (Shutterstock)

Students at a Cincinnati-area high school are being punished for placing signs that designated water fountains as "Whites only" and "Blacks only."

As the Washington Post reports, the signs posted at the Colerain High School spurred outrage and brought back painful memories of race-based segregation that lasted until the passage of landmark civil rights legislation in the 1960s.

School officials this week revealed that they have found the students who were responsible for what they described as a "tasteless and hurtful act," and said that they "have been issued significant disciplinary actions."

The officials went on to emphasize that "this type of behavior is not and will not be condoned or tolerated."

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The signs first drew public outrage when a parent posted a photo of them on Facebook earlier this month, which prompted the school to launch an investigation.

One parent of a Colerain student this week told local news station Fox 19 that they were sickened by the signs, which they said "pushed us back so many generations."

"My heart dropped," the parent added. "I could not believe it. It was so offensive."

Colerain is a relatively diverse high school, as an estimated 30 percent of enrolled students are Black.