Discriminatory statements written on political poster

Freshman class responds to vandalization

Vandalism%3A+Posters+about+the+upcoming+election+NTA+teacher+Debra+Skadden+created+with+her+class+were+recently+vandalized.+Students+of+social+studies+teacher+Kara+Cisco%27s+class+responded+by+creating+posters+to+counter+the+discriminatory+comments.
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Discriminatory statements written on political poster

Vandalism: Posters about the upcoming election NTA teacher Debra Skadden created with her class were recently vandalized. Students of social studies teacher Kara Cisco's class responded by creating posters to counter the discriminatory comments.

Vandalism: Posters about the upcoming election NTA teacher Debra Skadden created with her class were recently vandalized. Students of social studies teacher Kara Cisco's class responded by creating posters to counter the discriminatory comments.

Grace Farley

Vandalism: Posters about the upcoming election NTA teacher Debra Skadden created with her class were recently vandalized. Students of social studies teacher Kara Cisco's class responded by creating posters to counter the discriminatory comments.

Grace Farley

Grace Farley

Vandalism: Posters about the upcoming election NTA teacher Debra Skadden created with her class were recently vandalized. Students of social studies teacher Kara Cisco's class responded by creating posters to counter the discriminatory comments.

Abby Intveld and Dani Orloff

When freshman Matthew Montanez heard about the discriminatory graffiti, he said he felt driven to voice his opinion on the matter.

“We tried to show that everyone is welcome here, no matter your race, religion, or anything else like that,” Montanez said. “Who ever did that, they shouldn’t have and it’s wrong in every way. Everybody is equal.”

According to Non-Traditional Academy (NTA) social studies teacher Debra Skadden, NTA students participated in a class activity to inform students about the different candidates up for election in the upcoming midterms Nov. 6.  

“We took a bunch of national and state races, divided them up among my students and they had to research the candidate and their stance on issues,” Skadden said. “The focus was to inform their peers about the candidates and where they stood on topics.”

According to NTA senior Andreina Rodriguez, discriminatory statements were written on her political poster of Ilhan Omar, a candidate for Minnesota’s 5th Congressional district, in the lunchroom Oct. 12. Rodriguez said the statements included “Muslim trash” and “illegal alien.”

According to social studies teacher Kara Cisco, her class had gone down to the lunchroom to use the political posters for an assignment in class, however the discriminatory graffiti prevented them from doing so.   

In response to this act of racism, Cisco said her students used this as an opportunity to create posters about how they felt about the situation.

“Fredrick Douglas said ‘I have prayed for 20 years and nothing happened until I started praying with my feet’ and that’s kind of the idea we discussed (in class). It’s like, how do we live out the principles of ‘we are all welcome here’ everyday,” Cisco said.

According to Cisco, one project posted outside of her classroom involved students writing messages on posters, such as “This does not represent SLP,” “I feel embarrassed that someone I know could’ve done this” and “We  are not trash.”

“If someone feels unwelcome here in this school, the best thing that we can do is make the school a safe place for everyone,” Cisco said. “(We wanted) to make that clear through this (activity).”

Freshman Miguel Marin Luna said he was devastated after hearing of what was written on Omar’s poster.  

“I wanted to (participate) because everybody is equal in the school and we all take pride in who we are,” Marin Luna said.

According to Cisco, the project was completely student driven.

“I really didn’t do anything except make a space for all of that to happen,” Cisco said. “They came up with probably 15 different ideas and I was like ‘alright, let’s make this happen’ and that is what we did.”

Rodriguez said she felt immense sadness after she was notified of the defacement.    

“I was just mad. People vandalizing our project and saying disrespectful things on the paper is heartbreaking,” Rodriguez said. “How this world has come to think, ‘oh you’re illegal, you are nothing,’ hurts me. It’s just disrespectful and rude.”

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