It started as an image that captured two words — “White” and “Power” — on signs held up by two fans at a Dallas suburban high school basketball game. Now it has sparked a social media firestorm complete with accusations of racism, and an internal school investigation.
A student from the visiting Plano East High School team captured images of the signs during a varsity basketball game hosted by Flower Mound High School (FMHS) on February 13, according to FOX News. Now, the actions of the students who held the signs are the subjects of internal investigation by the Lewisville Independent School District (ISD) to determine if there was any malicious intent.
In a statement, Lewisville ISD Interim Superintendent Dr. Kevin Rogers called this an “unfortunate occurrence.” He emphasized that that “this type of incident – however it has been perceived – has not and will not be tolerated” in the district. The Superintendent stated that the school district has high expectations for its 53,000 students in what he called a “very diverse school and community.”
Rogers, who only recently took over the district’s helm when longtime superintendent Stephen Waddell retired in January, said he was “disheartened” that the “perceived actions of a few may reflect poorly on two great schools – Flower Mound and Plano East High Schools – school districts and communities.”
He added, ” Ultimately, please know we have the highest respect for the students, staff and community of Plano East High School.”
The Plano student posted it on Twitter with the comment, “This is ridiculous. I thought we passed the racial stage of society.”
This is ridiculous I thought we passed the racial stage of society. pic.twitter.com/xonnf18mUy
— Devin Gifford (@dgiff_) February 14, 2015
Faculty member Eric Littleton tweeted in response “As head coach at FMHS I offer our full voice apology. I will pursue this fully. No place for this.”
Rogers was disappointed that the incident went viral.
Plano ISD spokesperson Lesley Range-Stanton said that they were looking into student conduct on both sides of the court to find out what happened, the Dallas Morning News reported. Plano is approximately 25 miles east of Flower Mound.
Although there has been an immediate social media rush to judgment, local ABC affiliate, WFAA-TV, questioned if this was a purposefully racist message or just an unfortunate “coincidence” caught on camera. The high school’s colors are blue and white. The news outlet noted that the “white” referred to the school’s colors.
Because of the sensitive and potential racial undertones attached to this incident, the Dallas Morning News included US census data to illustrate demographics; however they were from 2010 and showed Flower Mound as 83.9% white and Plano as 66.9% white. Updated 2013 City-Data statistics reflect 78.1% of Flower Mound residents and 55.7% of Plano residents as white. Flower Mound is a town of 68,609 people while the City of Plano is home to 274,409 people.
The Lewisville ISD investigation continues.
Follow Merrill Hope, a member of the original Breitbart Texas team, on Twitter @OutOfTheBoxMom.