Editorial: A letter to the LAHS student body

A+photo+of+the+new+gender-neutral+bathroom+in+the+600s+wing.+The+gender-neutral+bathroom+in+the+700s+wings+have+been+subject+to+racism+and+white+supremacy+which+we+will+not+stand+for.+

A photo of the new gender-neutral bathroom in the 600s wing. The gender-neutral bathroom in the 700s wings have been subject to racism and white supremacy which we will not stand for.

To the Los Altos High School student body,

We urge you to speak up.

A group of students on campus has taken it upon themselves to vandalize the gender-neutral bathrooms in the 700s wing with primitive statements of white supremacy.

They engraved the text, “Hail Oden & Thor,” above what appears to be an image of Thor’s hammer and multiple swastikas. Initially, we didn’t understand the significance of this, but when we looked further, we found that references to Oden and Thor are common white supremacist messages intended to emphasize racial purity and the prospect of an all-white society.

In other words, this isn’t another instance of racist trolling where the perpetrator’s sole motive is to get a rise out of the student body; this message is rooted in hatred. The students who perpetrate these messages know the severity of their meanings, and are using this bathroom to dog-whistle — one racist scumbag is telling another that they aren’t alone.

But, they are alone. The LAHS student body represented by the leading student groups on campus who have cosigned this editorial will never conform to this type of bigotry.

Additionally, this phrase persists in secrecy. It’s important that we bring this subtle dog-whistle out into the open, eliminating a way for students with racist ideologies to communicate right under our noses. Next, we must emphasize just how isolated those viewpoints are, both by actively welcoming people of diverse backgrounds while actively shunning those who refuse to.

We will not stand for these blatant acts of racism and veiled statements of white nationalism and neo-Nazism. The gender-neutral bathroom in the 700s wing will not become a place for students to propagate their disgusting, “racial purity” ideologies, and will remain the safe space it was intended to be for those who choose to use it.

On an unremoved urinal stall sits a fading unofficial code of conduct, of which only one rule is still visible: “don’t be a snitch.” These acts of hatred fester because those who are in the know remain quiet, while those who remain on the outside turn a blind eye.

It is imperative that we don’t let that happen. By remaining quiet, we are tacitly approving the message of the cowards who scratched those revolting messages in the first place.

And to those who stand by these racist statements: your vile, unfounded racist ideologies are not welcome on LAHS campus. We encourage you to step back and think about the message you’re perpetrating; is this really the impact you’d like to have on our community?

Sincerely,

The Talon

Cosigned by: ASB (Associated Student Body), Avid, Green Team, the Gender and Sexuality Awareness Club, The Latino Student Union, MVLA Speech & Debate, The Student Athletic Leadership Team (SALT) and SCL (Student Community Leaders)