By Oliver Lazenby
Three Blaine Middle School students were disciplined after one student wrote “whites only” on a restroom wall on March 26, according to the Blaine school district.
Eight to ten eighth grade students, including two black students, were coming from a class discussion on civil rights in the 1960s and went into the restroom on break. One white student indicated that he was going to write “whites only” on a wall, district superintendent Ron Spanjer said. Some in the group discouraged him and others encouraged the graffiti.
“He went ahead and wrote it on the wall any way in spite of their discussion,” Spanjer said. “The administrators became aware fairly quickly and closed the restroom so it could be cleaned. They did choose to involve the police, which I think was a good idea.”
Blaine police responded at 12:39 p.m. and found that a crime had occurred, but not a felony-level hate crime, according to a police report. The district’s school resource officer followed up with the students involved, Spanjer said. The Blaine Police Department couldn’t make anyone available to comment by press time.
The white student who wrote the graffiti and two who encouraged him were disciplined by school administration. No black students were disciplined in the matter. The district is not pressing charges, Spanjer said. As a rule, the district doesn’t discuss how specific students are disciplined, he added.
“We take matters of this nature very seriously. We got on it immediately and we engaged their families. These are adolescent kids and they need to be accountable for their choices,” Spanjer said. “These are complex situations for middle school kids.”