St. Pete NAACP president wants reunion after racist graffiti

Headteachers said they had launched an anonymous reporting system allowing people to send in information.

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida — The president of the local chapter of the NAACP, in a letterasked to meet with the principal of St. Petersburg Catholic High School following an allegation of violent and racist graffiti written on a bathroom wall.

The January 27 letter from NAACP St. Petersburg branch president Esther Matthews to principal Ross Bubolz says that although he met with students, the person who wrote the message has not been identified. and the parents were not informed of the incident.

Superintendent Christopher Pastura argues in a statement to 10 Tampa Bay in response to the letter that parents and students had been informed in an e-mail of January 26.

“I am writing to formally request a meeting following reported incidents of racism and racial targeting of African American students at St. Petersburg Catholic High School,” Matthews wrote to the school principal.

Appearing in a Snapchat photo, the vulgar post includes the words “f” and “n” and a threat to kill people. The director was notified of the post “on or about 1/17/22,” the letter states. He continues that 20 to 25 black students met with the principal about the message on January 24, but no parents were informed.

And yet, says Matthews, parents weren’t told what happened, and the student body “wasn’t called together to deal with the racial tension and underlying violence” that is taking place. prepare “on your campus”.

Pastura said, in addition to the January 26 email sent to the school community, a follow-up was distributed on January 27 announcing the launch of an anonymous online reporting system “which was already in the works”.

The first email to parents said it was unclear how long the graffiti had been on the wall and so far the school has not been able to identify who it was. wrote.

Headteachers and the St. Petersburg Police Department conclude “there does not appear to be a specific and credible threat to our students.”

Matthews calls for a meeting ‘to create a clear plan’ on how students at the school can be made aware of the incident, citing the principal’s message to the school community that ‘students would be taken care of’ at the ‘school.

“The reported targeting of a race of students, citing hatred, violence, creating division and fear is certainly not aligned with ‘care’ and does not build strong leaders,” reads the letter.

In his Jan. 26 email to the school community, Bubolz asked parents to speak with their children.

Remind them “of the seriousness of this issue and the importance of reporting things of this nature immediately,” it reads. “We are still seeking information on who is responsible and would greatly appreciate any insight into this case.”

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