Last night we shared the story of Denham Springs High hanging a Trump banner during their game against Scottlanville Magnet High School in Baton Rouge, LA. This morning one of the students Leasya Monique shared the school officials knew that the students would be hanging the banner because they have a list of themes for every game.
In the beginning of football season, a group of white seniors came up with a list of themes for the games. When I saw the list, I expressed to my classmates in our senior group chat that there were two inappropriate themes. One was “Jungle” for McKinley High School & “America/ Trump” against Scotlandville High School. Leasya went on to say, “Our principal knows about every theme, and he reviews over the banners before our students hang them up to make sure they are “appropriate”. Last night, our Black students either sat on Scotlandville’s side, didn’t sit in the student section, or didn’t go at all.”
This image is a list of themes they had.
(Read about the Students Hanging Trump Banner and see submitted photos here.)
When asked how she felt about the themes, Leasya says” Well, from the beginning when I expressed to my classmates how I felt about it, they down played the matter as if my opinion was not relevant. So, I feel as if my voice does not matter when I am around my classmates, which sucks. It’s not even just me who feels this way other, Black students and even a small portion of our White students have said they don’t agree with our themes.”
McKinley High which is the school Denham Springs used the “Jungle” theme for is another predominantly Black school and home of East Baton Rouge Parish School Board’s first gifted and talented high school programs. It was the first high school established for African-Americans in Baton Rouge.
A former student of McKinley High School David Mack says this is nothing new of Denham Springs High. “Yes Denham Springs used to call us all types of ugly names during football season,” Mack shared. “In my honest opinion, what went on at the Scotlandville game isn’t much of a reach but it may be a little more demonstrative than years passed. I also don’t remember the school being so complicit (banners, uniform changes). It was usually kids jawing, trying to get in an opponents head.
While Mack might not find the taunts offensives, students at Denham Springs apparently are not comfortable with it. What are they teaching in these schools and what would make a principle think such behavior is acceptable? What do you all think? How would you feel about your child playing for a school allowing such?