Ayvaunn Penn, Your Black World
Racism is never a laughing matter, but apparently some students of Wisconsin’s Baldwin-Woodville High School think it is. A number of classmates do not understand why an unnamed white male ninth-grade student had to be suspended for placing a KKK symbol and macramé noose on a black student’s desk while in art class. The 15-year-old victim is also unnamed. The foster mother of the victim, Sarah Hitzeman, told Star Tribune that her daughter “has been experiencing racial comments since [she] join[ed] [her] family her eighth-grade year. Her freshman year started out with students calling her ‘Big Mocha’ and making fun of her hair and breasts.” This act, however, crosses the line.
The school principal, Eric Russell, and other school administrators were simply going to suspended the boy for a single day, and leave it at that. Although the student was suspended on December 14th, 2012, further reprimands were set in place after an NAACP representative initiated communications with the school on Hitzeman’s behalf. According to the mother, her daughter was being ostracized and taunted by fellow students who believe she overreacted to the prank. To this, the mother says, “To have a school that has no tolerance for bullying but a lot of tolerance for racial issues isn’t right. I want my daughter to understand this isn’t okay, and she doesn’t have to accept it.”
Russel informed Star Tribune that he appointed a stricter suspension that went into effect at the start of Christmas break, yet he did not disclose any further details concerning the duration of the punishment. He did, however, go on record saying that the male student’s actions were “absolutely not acceptable.”
The founder of The Penn Speaks and Your Black Poets, Ayvaunn Penn is an award-winning writer pursuing her graduate degrees in dramatic writing and acting. To follow her on Facebook, click here. To have Ayvaunn Penn feature your original poetry on Your Black Poets, click here.