Booker T. Principal: 'Dear White Hornets' T-Shirt Divisive

Friday, September 15th 2017, 4:55 pm
By: News On 6

Tulsa Public Schools issued a statement after a handful of seniors wore a T-shirt with a message to white classmates.  

News On 6 first heard about the shirt when a classmate forwarded photos of what the student called a "racist T-shirt at Booker T."

The front of the shirt says, "Dear White Hornets." On the reverse is the message: "Stop trying to replace our traditions with your whiteness. Respect our school." 

Some students objected, teachers got involved, and the principal called it a divisive statement not reflective of Booker T.

The school had an assembly to help defuse the situation, and students tell us it did.

Booker T. Washington Principal Melissa Woolridge released the following statement:

"As you may know, today one of our students made the unfortunate decision to wear a t-shirt featuring a divisive message about the Booker T. Washington High School student community. Our student creed says, in part 'I believe in the inspiration that comes from contact with all that is truest and best.' The incident that took place today, however, does not reflect the heart of the Hornet learning community. 
At Booker T. Washington, we believe in empowering our students to engage in the productive struggle of learning, to lean into areas of discomfort, to explore the ways that we think, and to challenge our own perceptions of the world around us. We also believe that our diversity is a community treasure and that we are richer for our differences. It is disappointing that one misguided decision might cause those outside of our school community to perceive division in the Hornet family. All families have difficult moments, but our Hive is strong. I have every confidence that today will be a teachable moment for all of our students about what it means to live our creed and engage in generous comradeship even as we hold fast to our highest convictions."