In the wake of a “Trail of Tears” banner McClain High School cheerleaders displayed during a football game Friday October 28th against the Hillsboro Indians, the school issued an apology on its website.
School officials also deleted, but did not mention, photos from a school spirit week that depicted stereotypical versions of Native Americans, African American slaves and Mexican and Chinese laborers. In some of the photos, students dressed as cowboys held lassos wrapped around Indian women; another showed a student dressed as an African American slave in chains.
The schools apology on their website reads:
“At the final varsity football game of the year, a horrific mistake was made. A sign was created out of ignorance, not hate. There are no words to express our deepest sympathy to those of Native American and African American descent. We also owe a sincere apology to the communities, families and students of Hillsboro, Greenfield, and beyond. We are currently completing an internal investigation of how this deplorable situation arose. We will take appropriate steps once we have all of the necessary information. By partnering with local organizations, McClain High School will immediately use this moment to further educate our students on the atrocities faced by both the Native American and African American cultures.”
The Trail of Tears photos were posted on the online news site Deadspin. Contributor Timothy Burke of the site wrote: “How did we get these photos? Because while the school district deleted the Spirit Week gallery page, they forgot to delete the photos themselves.”
At this point, the McClain High School has yet to respond for ICTMN’s request for comment.