A couple of days ago my friend Wayne Glapion had posted a very disturbing picture on his Facebook page. The picture was of the President with hunting season below his image. It was drawn by a child and was being displayed in the 8th grade hall at Boyet Jr. High, in Slidell, Louisiana.
I messaged him and asked if he would tell me the story because I wanted to post it on my Open Salon blog. What follows is his account of what is happening in Slidell as a result of him and his sister seeing those pictures.
Wayne was visiting with his mother and his niece was eating breakfast with her as she does everyday. Wayne asked her about school and her grades, and she told him that school was okay and that her grades were good, but that she didn't like the pictures in the 8th grade hallway. So he pressed her to tell him about the pictures, and she began describing pictures drawn by students that depicted the President with a bullet hole in his head, and the above mentioned hunting season one. With that he asked if she had told her parents about the pictures and she said, "No." He told her to go next door and let them know about the pictures.
Wayne and his sister Karen Stampley then determined to go to the school. They went directly to the 8th grade hallway and began taking pictures of the questionable "artwork." At this point a teacher sees them and gets a walkie talkie to call for security. Wayne tells me he told her, "While you're at it call CNN, MSNBC, and the local radio station WBOK!" They finished taking the pictures and headed for the principals office.
Mr. Stubbs, the principal, told them that he had seen the posters and he felt it was just students freely expressing themselves. At that point Karen pulled a picture up and asked if the picture was acceptable to him, and he replied, "No I didn't see that one!" Then she pulled up another and again he agreed it wasn't appropriate, finally she pulled up the picture depicting the President with a bullethole in the head. Mr. Stubbs assured them they would be taken down.
Wayne was enraged by the whole thing, he turned to ask if students could freely express themselves by replacing the President's likeness with say one of a teacher. The principal said, " that would not be tolerated!" Karen and Wayne were perplexed because these pictures had been displayed for 5 days and while a teacher's likeness would not have been tolerated that of the President didn't seem to get a reaction from any of the staff.
He writes me that in the time they were at the school, which is probably 20 minutes, they are informed the pictures have been removed. As they were leaving the school a secretary stopped them and stated, "You came to inform us and we've removed them let this be the end of it!" Karen assured her, "This is not the end of it, it is the beginning!"
Mr. Stubbs called the Stampleys on Friday of last week to inform them that the child who had the poster with the bullethole in President Obama's head had told his parents it was graffitied . Then this past Monday he called again to say the child's parents had called and stated that markers were left out and must have bled on the poster. None of these explanations were adequate enough for Karen who decided to take the matter to the St. Tammany school superintendent, Trey Folse.
Karen and her husband Rae also went to their pastor and contacted James Davis president of the Greater Covington NAACP chapter, all of whom have met with the school superintendent. A full scale investigation of all parties involved has been launched and it is anticipated it will take approximately 3 weeks for it to be completed. The family is reserving further remarks on the matter until that time.