A historic photo of the KKK at Central High deleted
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) – Cheyenne is once again in the spotlight amid a hot national issue over another incident at a local school.
On Friday, Central High School literature students walked into their classroom to find an old black-and-white photo of KKK troopers posing for a photo…again.
According to NAACP sources, the teacher told her students that the photo was of a 1914 KKK parade taken by her grandmother.
LCSD1 officials said the teacher intended to use the photo as part of an illustration for upcoming class materials.
“No matter how you hear it, it’s still impactful. If you didn’t think of it as.. if it was a learning tool, it still has an impact because you have people of color, you have children, which is our main problem, ” said Pastor Stephen Latham, president of the NAACP Cheyenne Chapter.
According to LCSD1 advocates, this upset students and, eventually, parents, making them question the cultural sensitivity of staff.
“I see it as a community issue that gets into the school system and then we see the repercussions. We see the microaggressions in the things that happen in schools. They are a direct reflection of what is happening in our community,” Drew Hall, Access and Opportunity Coordinator-LCSD1.
According to LCSD1 advocates, three students of color and one Caucasian student complained, and the administrator took down the photo.
The school district’s defense team and the family met about the incident Monday morning.
“What we’re trying to do is make sure our staff feel safe and our families feel safe, so we can have the dialogue and the interaction around really difficult conversations that our community has. may need to have,” said Dr. Margaret Crespo, LCSD1 superintendent.
According to LCSD1 officials, the teacher is subject to a disciplinary process until their investigation is complete.
“It continues to drive a wedge between the community that we’re trying to create. I work with multiple organizations and was trying to bring that community together and this kind of thing continues to tear it apart,” Latham said.
But many believe this is a continuation of an ongoing problem that leaders in Cheyenne and Wyoming are not adequately addressing.
“What is the first rule of the western code? Live each day with courage. We can do that. We must not be afraid to tackle the racism of our past and our present so as not to make it our future. We don’t have to be afraid to say that everyone deserves to feel safe in their schools,” said Sara Burlingham, executive director of Wyoming Equality.
Thursday will be an event at City Hall at the Romero Community Center at 6:30 p.m.
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