‘White’ sign unintentionally placed on high school drinking fountain, principal says

UNION COUNTY, N.C. — An image circulating on social media has gotten so much attention that a local middle school principal has had to address it.

The photo showing a sign labeled “white” hung above a drinking fountain was shared on Snapchat with students at Piedmont High School in Union County.

[WSOC special program: Talking About Race and Schools]

Some families reached out to Channel 9 to figure out what the school was doing about it.

The photo has caused quite an uproar on social media -- an ugly reminder of a past that most would prefer to forget.

“I was really upset, especially knowing that I graduated there too a couple of years ago,” said one former student.

Her younger brother currently attends Piedmont High School and was upset by what he saw.

“I can only imagine how many people saw it because all of these kids are so interconnected on social media, especially on Snapchat in that age group, so everybody in the school knows about what’s going on,” she said.

The school district said it did not know how far the picture was shared but the concern was high enough that the principal sent out a message to parents, telling them he had investigated the matter.

“During practice, a cheer sign was left just outside the gym on the floor, and it was picked up and placed on a water fountain,” the principal said. “We have investigated this matter and concluded that the placement was not intentional.”

The explanation didn’t stop the hurt that some kids said they felt.

“I know that my brother has told me that they are getting calls from parents already that are angry about what’s going on,” that former student told Channel 9.

The principal’s message went on to say that if anyone was offended, the school apologizes.

The explanation was not enough for some who said they have a hard time believing it was not intentional.

(WATCH BELOW: Talking About Race: The history of race in Charlotte’s Schools)

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