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Signs foster unwelcome environment

Intentions, some students’ perceptions may differ


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Distribution: Jodi Johnston prepares to distribute “Thank You St. Louis Park Police” signs to community members. Although not her intent, the signs have made some uncomfortable.

Distribution: Jodi Johnston prepares to distribute “Thank You St. Louis Park Police” signs to community members. Although not her intent, the signs have made some uncomfortable.

The appearance of new “Thank You St. Louis Park Police” signs around the community sparked some debate over whether these signs help create an inclusive community.

In light of recent occurrences in Minnesota and around the nation, some students  have said they feel the signs may be perceived by others in Park as being offensive and creating an unsafe environment.

With such violence and uneasiness occurring between police and minorities, the signs may further separate these two groups, who are already quite divided.

After the July 6 shooting of Philando Castile by a police officer, the already tense relationship between Minnesota police officers and minorities heightened.

According to Jodi Johnston, who created these signs, her original desire was to thank the community and its law enforcement.

Although that may have been her personal intention, the editorial board believes the community may have a vastly different perception.

These signs may potentially further inflame tensions between police and people of color.

Park must continue to foster discussion between residents about controversial issues plaguing our nation.

Dialogue is the primary method to relieve tensions between law enforcement and minority communities. Displaying a sign in the yard does very little to ease poor relations.

The editorial board believes members of the community should take the time to discuss with their neighbors the perceptions they may have about these signs.

This is important because their intentions for putting up the signs may not be what community members see.

Fostering an open, peaceful and productive conversation is the only way to bring an end to the issues plaguing our society.

Everyone deserves to come home safely and feel welcome in their neighborhood. We believe discussion will best alleviate these relations within the school and community.`

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3 Comments

3 Responses to “Signs foster unwelcome environment”

  1. Marvshedlov on September 2nd, 2016 1:13 pm

    Why does everything need to have a negative response? We are getting too sensitive to what is being said. Stop trying to find something bad in everything. There is always going to be different opinions. My thoughts are mine and I should be allowed to have them without having to be sorry for them and you can have yours.

    [Reply]

  2. David Oyama on September 4th, 2016 6:03 pm

    I agree that this article seems to be taking a stance that is too sensitive. It makes me sad that some people might find signs thanking police officers as to leading to an unsafe/inclusive environment. I understand that different populations have different perceptions of law enforcement based-on significant events but the signs say nothing offensive. Ideally the role of law enforcement is a positive and while there are issues in the system I believe many cops try their best to do just that. They are a service profession and deserve respect for that. That does not mean there are not problems that need to be addressed but I second the feeling that we need to try and see the positive and not be so sensitive.

    [Reply]

    David Oyama Reply:

    wow. . . lots of grammatical mistakes there.

    [Reply]

The Echo intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. Furthermore, we do not permit any of the following inappropriate content including: Libel or defamatory statements, any copyrighted, trademarked or intellectual property of others, the use of profanity and foul language or personal attacks. All comments are reviewed and approved by staff to ensure that they meet these standards. The Echo does not allow anonymous comments, and requires a name and valid email address submitted that are variable. This email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments. Online comments that are found in violation of these policies will be removed as quickly as possible. Please direct any further questions to [email protected]

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Signs foster unwelcome environment