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BARBERS HILL HIGH SCHOOL: Racist sign throws school into controversy

MONT BELVIEU – Kids write the ‘darndest’ things on campus walls especially after a series of contentions and uncertainty locally and nationally has drawn taunt racial relations.

Barbers Hill High School had some graffiti painted on the wall that read “Black Lives Don’t Matter,” and some other incidental forms of protest are spoken of as happening not long after the November 3 election. Some parents want something done.

Fresh on the mind of many locals is the controversy of dreadlocks in Barbers Hill after each attending students had signed off on accepting the dress code to attend but two students were determined by the Superintendent to be in violation due to the length of their dreadlocks. The district suspended the two students. The issue went viral. Ellen Degeneres waded in for one student’s plight, and a lawsuit determined that Barbers Hill ISD and administrators had racially discriminated. The students were back in school on August 20. One with a full ride scholarship. A protest up Eagle Drive was held related to the “Black Lives Matter” cause, in which the dreadlock controversy was most mentioned by protesters. Uncovered issues include that one of the students had been attending Houston ISD without living in Mont Belvieu, used his grandparents’ address to register, got in and according to some, played the system for a fool. Whatever the truth is, “Can’t we all just get along?”

One issue is intimidation of minorities; another is suppression of alternative views.

Now the charge is that racial relations inside the school have deteriorated, as exemplified by the spray painted sign and other forms of expression having been quieted. Some say the district changed their face mask policy because some masks displayed the American flag. Somehow, a parent is alleging that flag would provoke black students and display alliance with former President Donald Trump. The Confederate Battle Flag of course would be thus offensive.

But the District disavowed any change in mask policy, indicating there had been no change in their mask policy and being unaware of the graffiti.

The parent said recent posters of Vice President Kamala Harris and former First Lady Michelle Obama were damaged after being put up for Black History Month.

And of course, on social media there would be posts displaying the most extremist of views. The parent pointed to this quote: “we couldn’t even wear our damn flag on a mask at the beginning of the year bc it’s racist no f*** you you don’t like it get out.”

It is that perspective, and the belief that some are “teaching their children to hate,” that is most disturbing to these parents.

A statement was released from the office of Deputy Superintendent Sandra Duree: “A disagreement arose amongst Barbers Hill High School Students Friday morning when newly displayed posters were viewed as combative and divisive. The posters in question contained political rhetoric from conventions and speeches from the campaign trail with the emphasis being on those political issues that still divide our county. These posters were removed. We all know how politically polarized our nation is right now and Barbers Hill ISD has and will continue to keep the political discord from interfering with our mission of always providing a safe and conducive learning environment.”

According to one source with a national security background, “The political tensions in this country fed by frantic reactions and crazy, baseless conspiracy theories are a Russian wet dream.”