Re: Hays Free Press request
From: Kimberly Hilsenbeck [email@example.com]
Date: Tue, Jun 12, 2012
Mr. Owens - nice to hear from you.
As a reporter, I probably have a different set of questions. But as a mom, a community member, and a human, I cannot help but think what those two kids did to the teacher smacked of hatred.
Vandalism and destruction of property is one thing; writing the N word and other racist graffiti on the school's only black teacher's door goes beyond just a lack of good judgment or teenage immaturity.
And if the teacher's version of the story has any merit, this was not the first time she experienced racially targeted activities and language at Hays High.
Regardless, it's a divisive issue and the community seems to come down hard on one side or the other, either "it's just school spirit and pride" or "it's offensive and hurtful."
One of the most interesting comments I heard recently is that people who've lived in Hays for a long time don't see how Confederate imagery makes us look to outsiders...like a bunch of racist haters.
Our school board is likely going to examine this incident in the larger context of how the Rebel mascot and Dixie fight song may contribute to an undercurrent of racism at the school.
I hope you and Mr. Edgerton stay tuned to what's happening here in Hays. I'd appreciate staying in contact.