School administrators in Portsmouth, Virginia, are investigating an incident involving signs briefly placed over drinking fountains in Churchland High School.
A photo of the signs, which read “whites only” and “blacks only” was posted on social media and appeared to be a screenshot from Snapchat. According to 10 On Your Side, the signs were reported Tuesday afternoon and were then taken down immediately.
Cherise Newsome, spokesperson for Porsmouth Public Schools, called the signs “unacceptable” and said the school’s principal took “disciplinary action.”
“In Portsmouth Public Schools, diversity is our strength. It’s important that our students, staff and families feel safe and welcome in our schools,” Newsome said. “We will make every effort to ensure that’s the case in each of our schools.”
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She told the Virginia-Pilot the school will have workshops for employees and students to discuss diversity, respect and student conduct. Newsome told 13News Now families were notified about the incident via robo call.
According to U.S. Census Bureau figures from 2010, Portsmouth is 53.3 percent African American and 41.6 percent white.
The drinking fountain signs were posted the same day Churchland High School was placed on lockdown due to reports of a threat of a possible weapon at the facility. A Portsmouth spokesperson told 10 On Your Side a BB gun was found near the school but not inside. The school also received a threat Monday night.
It’s unclear if the lockdown and the water fountain incidents were related.