Outrage swells after a photo of Florida students holding racist signs appears on social media

Outrage swells after a photo of Florida students holding racist signs appears on social media
Florida tudents holding up a racist sign outside of their school (screengrab/WPTV News - FL Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast/YouTube).

Martin County School District superintendent Dr. John Millay is facing two challenges this week. Parents in the Treasure Coast area of Florida are outraged after a photo of six students holding up letters spelling out a racist slur circulated on social media. Some are also concerned after Millay met with a far-right parents group, Moms for Liberty, that reportedly has strong ties to the Republican Party. Some have also called it an “astroturf” group.

“The Martin County School District is committed to promoting and maintaining a learning environment free of hateful, racist and discriminatory actions or conduct,” Dr. Millay said in a statement Tuesday in response to the racist photo, TC Palm reports. “We are moving with all deliberate speed to interview all those who may have been involved in this shameful incident, and, unfortunately, can confirm that the photo is authentic.”

Because they are minors the students’ identities are not being disclosed, but Dr. Millay says they will face “appropriate disciplinary consequences.” The photo is especially not hard to find on social media but NCRM will not post it due to the students’ status as minors.

TC Palm also reported on Millay’s Monday meeting with Moms for Liberty, which claims to be nationwide after being founded less than 18 months ago.

The group advocates against COVID vaccine and mask mandates, critical race theory, and support for LGBTQ rights, while advocating for banning books from school libraries. Last year The Daily Beast profiled Moms for Liberty:

“School books about Martin Luther King Jr. are too ‘divisive,’ claims a conservative group at the center of a Tennessee book ban battle. A story about the astronomer Galileo Galilei is ‘anti-church.’ A picture book about seahorses is too sexy.”

Also last year, Media Matters reported that Moms for Liberty “appears to be using parents as pawns to advance a far-right agenda,” and has “serious GOP connections.”

In a Facebook post on the school district’s page at least one expressed concern about Millay’s meeting with Moms f

“Meanwhile the local county Moms for Liberty chapter (which you were so happy to meet with) is working to make sure that white kids’ feelings aren’t hurt by studying painful aspects of US history. Do you not see a link between whitewashing history and this racist behavior? I wonder how many of these kids’ giggling in the racist photo have parents in Moms for Liberty or are opposed to teaching ‘CRT.’ No doubt these same folks are ready to dismiss this racist incident as just child’s play because it reflects the same values they’ve been teaching their kids at home.”

On that same Facebook post many expressed concern over the racist photo:

“Somehow in their minds, these kids thought this was OK. They need to be taught a lesson to the contrary. It will serve as a lesson for others.”

“Until we know what the true punishment is for these kids it is still not okay it’s being swept under the rug again. I have a son at this school and it’s ridiculous.”

Photo with racial slur taken outside Martin County school prompts investigation youtu.be


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