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Texas High School Students Turn “Jersey Day” Into “Thug Day”

Last Tuesday, May 14th 2019 Memorial High School’s “Spirit Week” became viral after photos of “Jersey Day” were posted from a Black student 👩🏽‍🎓created outrage due racist undertones. The caption read: "Memorial High School's "thug" day for rising senior spirit week... yes this ACTUALLY happened TODAY at an actual high school but y'all keep saying "racism isn't a problem anymore"... right alright,". 

Apparently, the junior and senior classes from the Texas school twisted “Jersey Day” into “Thug Day”. Students are seen throwing up gang signs with cornrows, fake gold grills, temporary tattoos, basketball jerseys, and large gold chains. Student Rachel Goodwin continued her tweet: “From as early as 2015, the kids have been dressing up in offensive costumes”. According to the Texas Education Agency, almost two-thirds of Memorial High's students are white, while 17 percent are Hispanic, 16 percent are Asian and only 2 percent are black. There is only an estimated 50 black students at Memorial High School. Ms. Goodwin hoped her anger would finally created change within the school climate, however it has done just the opposite. Fellow classmates have harassed and threatened the high schooler, sending messages stating she's endangering the lives of the white peers she's criticizing, and taunting her with violence to remove the tweets. Someone even posted her home address online. The Senior has been given permission to work from him for the rest of the week. Administration for Spring Branch Independent School District released the following statement: "Memorial High School has a longstanding tradition for its rising juniors to have special dress days during the week before finals to celebrate the fact that this student class will soon be seniors. On Tuesday, some rising juniors wore inappropriate dress and body/hair decorations as part of an alternative, unapproved response to the theme day. As a shared expectation about the theme was clearly violated, MHS has cancelled all remaining dress theme days for the remainder of this week. While the majority of rising juniors followed the approved dress theme on Tuesday, any instance of an inappropriate or offensive dress violation will not be tolerated. Students found to be in violation of the Student Code of Conduct and dress code will be given a consequence. MHS is focused today on preparing all students for finals and ending the school year well." The original “Spirit Week” featured Hippie Day, Jersey Day, 2000s Day, USA/America Day, and Hawaiian Day as themes. Unfortunately, the Houston high school has had numerous conflicts in previous years. In 2017, once class resumed from Winter Break they noticed the walls were vandalized with offensive slurs/symbols such as “fuck school”, “white power”, “nigger”, swatiskas, and pentagrams representing santanism. Later the same year, “Señorita Day” also raised eyebrows. Students arrived with donkeys, dressed as Border Patrol, wore huge mustaches, ponchos, sombreros, and spoke with terrible Spanish accents. Let’s be real. Is anyone surprised or shocked? This is Texas we are talking about. The same State where #SandraBland and many other African Americans have lost their lives without explanation. Though, I do believe it’s important to look at “Thug Day” from another perspective. I asked one of the fourth grade students if she felt the Spirit Day was racist. She replied “No, because thugs can come any background”. I told her she was right. Is the Black Community associating ourselves with this stereotype? Tell me your thoughts below.