Adding to the already heightened racial tensions, the Oregon City School District had to once again deal with the fallout from racist actions by its students. Just before Christmas, 2 Oregon City High School students recorded a Snapchat video of themselves making vile remarks about their principal, Tom Lovell. The students called him a n--ger and said that Lovell "arranges five n--ger s a day coming into the school at OCHS."
Former Oregon City High student Marcus Hasan saw the video and uploaded it to his Twitter account tagging Lovell.
"It made me feel kind of sick because no one should be using [the N-word]," Hasan told
KATU. "When I saw the video I just felt like I needed to post it because all the racist stuff that's been going around in Oregon City, and I don't think like everybody really knows what that word means and why they shouldn't be saying that."
Principal Lovell responded on Twitter later that day saying, "Exactly the type of negative behavior that we've been trying to stop. It won't be tolerated. There will be severe consequences for this."
The school district released this statement addressing the matter involving the students who made the video insulting Principal Lovell:
"An investigation is underway and individual students will face disciplinary action up to and possibly including expulsion. School administrators will also work with the students involved to make this situation a teachable moment and assist them in efforts to repair the pain caused by their actions and words."
One of the student's parents involved in making the video offered these sentiments as part of a prepared statement apologizing for his actions:
"The incredible lack of respect displayed for Principal Lovell and others in that video is deplorable. We do not condone that kind of speech or hateful message about any race, religion, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation…Our son apologizes for his role in this event and deeply regrets the part he played in disseminating that hateful message…We apologize for our son’s actions and want you to know that we take this incident seriously. As a result, we have made some decisions for our son that will drastically change his current social circle."
Let's hope that Lovell and the staff can pull together and make Oregon City High an institution that promotes education, tolerance, and respect. If not, they will have a long way to go towards "making the OC great again."