LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – A student at Henry Clay who drew attention to a swastika found at the school, along with reporting additional anti-Semitic incidents, is requesting that the school district create a task force dedicated to investigating hate speech, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.
The student, Zachariah Sippy, posted an image on Facebook of the swastika, along with several other instances of racist imagery and comments from students on social media, or sent through texts. Sippy wrote on the post, “Most of this is not rooted in malice, but rather in ignorance. But that does not make it any less painful and hateful.”
Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk released a statement on Tuesday in response to Sippy’s request for a task force, saying, “We have zero tolerance for acts of hatred in our schools and absolutely support having a courageous conversation to look at this issue systemically.”
According to Caulk, the Sippy is already a member of the Superintendent’s Student Voice Team, that was formed to identify issues of racism, discrimination, and bias in Fayette County schools. Caulk says he spoke with the Sippy personally, and is hoping the incidents can be turned into a teachable moment for the school community, as well as the city at-large.
“Hate is a learned behavior,” says Caulk, “and our students are taking the lead on moving our entire community forward. We are stronger together, and we will not let hate divide us.”