The Lake Oswego High School student newspaper Lake Views reported yesterday on a new round of racial slurs, written on bathroom walls, in the affluent suburban school.
The paper reported that someone wrote "kill the niggers" and "nigger" in three boys' bathrooms at the school.
The incidents follow reports last November in Lake Views of incendiary comments on the Class of 2017 Facebook page, which prompted the paper to review a history of discrimination at Lake Oswego High.
The most recent figures available from the state of Oregon show that in the 2015-16 school year, 16 of Lake Oswego High's 991 students were black. That's 1.2 percent, about half the percentage of black students state-wide but a slightly higher percentage than exists in the Lake Oswego district overall.
After the November reports, the school began what it calls the Laker Seminars, an attempt to address racism.
"The question now – what have these seminars truly accomplished?" Lake Views reporter Camryn Leland wrote yesterday. "Has it created a space for students to explore a once taboo topic? Has it created a space in which students can further … the 'jokes' such as this recent incident?"
Updated at 11:40 am with statement from Lake Oswego High Principal Rollin Dickinson:
Dickinson told students in a message that although what he termed "a hate crime" is unacceptable, the students' response to it showed growth.
"Last time this happened, at the beginning of the school year, the problem was not just that it happened, but that there was silence in response," Dickinson told students today. "Yesterday, though, so many students took it upon themselves to immediately erase what they saw, scrubbing our walls with their own hands to make it better."
"For how much all of this is a deeply troubling reminder that we have more work to do, it is also a reminder that, as a community, we are growing in our ability to be proactive and respond," he added. "We are more than and are better than this absolutely unacceptable hate crime."