An ugly three weeks for the Mt. Lebanon School District

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Three weeks ago, American voters chose Donald Trump to be their next president.

Since then, at least three racist incidents have taken place in the Mt. Lebanon School District. Mt. Lebanon is about six miles south of Pittsburgh; it is the community in which my family and I have called home for more than 11 years. I cannot recall any similar racist insults in the time I’ve lived here.

Over the past three weeks, a couple students on a school bus began chanting “build the wall.” I don’t know the full list of students who overheard what was said, but I do know there was at least one student who can trace part of his ancestry to Asia.

Shortly after that, two parents told me that a “KATJ” (Kill All the Jews) club was being formed. According to one of the parents, one student asked another student if he wanted to join, not knowing that the invited student was Jewish.

Earlier today, a photograph showing the “N” word written on a football tackling dummy began circulating. (I have access to the photograph and have deliberately chosen not to include it in this post.)

This afternoon, the following email was sent to all parents who have children in the school district:

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3 Responses to An ugly three weeks for the Mt. Lebanon School District

  1. Joshua says:

    Sir, I spent my first two decades of life in Mount Lebanon and I can testify with no hesitation that community is racist. I can give you several examples throughout the years like the treatment of the school district towards students of color (see Academy house), Richard Baumhammers killing spree, and real estate redline practices (see Muhammad Ali) that go back well over 100 years.
    But Lebo has some of the worst kind of American racism. It’s a quiet generationally infused xenophobia created by its own manifestation. Lebo’s society blindly embraces the notion of white privilege without realization until an eleven year old holds a mirror to it. Then it’s a mere embarrassment, a damage control situation, a 15 minute walk of shame in the media.. until the next time.

  2. Laura says:

    As much of this is coming to light with the Trump election, racism and discrimination was definitely’s going strong when I attended Mount Lebanon. I graduated high school in 1999. I didn’t graduate from Mt. Lebanon, though. I transferred senior year due to difficult social experiences there. Although I made some great friends there, and also had some wonderful experiences and great teachers, it definitely was not for me. In addition to being bullied and shamed by a group of older boys, I remember being called a “kike”, and being told to “f&$* off, Jew”. There was a somewhat of a white supremacist kkk presence there, and we knew whose families were involved and steered clear. I also remember sitting in early morning detention frequently (I was late a lot, and got detention for it) and seeing an incredibly racist rhyme etched into the desk. No one ever bothered removing or covering it. Looking back on it, I wish I had. It read “I am afroman, running through the jungle from the Ku klux klan.” My best friend all through high school was openly gay and Jewish. Although he stood strong and always stayed true to himself, he suffered no shortage of insult, bullying, ridicule, and battery, as did I for associating with him. He also transferred, a year before I did. These things have always existed. It is the recent election that is making people talk about it, both for good and evil. Recent events have made hateful people unite and organize, and their propaganda and hurtful ideas spread widely, especially to the impressionable minds of children. Sometimes children don’t understand the gravity of their actions and take part to be accepted. It is important to teach, not just that these ideas are hurtful, but why they are hurtful. Children only learn by what they see and what they are taught.

  3. Pingback: Mt. Lebanon takes a stand | AJM Broadcast Educator

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