MESA, AZ — Mesa police and Mesa Unified School District officials say they are taking racist threats made on social media and on a classroom whiteboard seriously. The threats targeted African American students who attend Mountain View High School.
The threats include asking Mountain View students to send pictures of African American students. Another shows a student and points him out as the first victim. There was also graffiti warning of violence on Dec. 15.
“As principal of Mountain View, I’m the steward. People depend on me,” said Mike Oliver, who presides over a sprawling campus of 3,500 students.
He says racism is not welcome at the school.
“My amazing team of administrators are researching and investigating, doing everything we can to support this and find out who are these individuals that are displaying these behaviors, which are highly inappropriate,” Oliver said. “And when we find them, we’ll take action.”
When Pastor Andre Miller saw the threats, he sent them to Oliver and the Mesa Police Department. Miller is a member of the Community Armor Project, an organization that works to build trust among communities and public servants. Miller, who is from Detroit originally, was in Michigan when four students were shot and killed at school.
“We need to take a hard look because it’s imperative we stamp these things out and that young people know this is not acceptable and not okay,” Pastor Miller said.
Principal Oliver will meet with Pastor Miller next week. They are hoping to develop strategies to combat racism on campus.
In the meantime, the Mesa Unified School District and Mesa police intend to increase security at and around Mountain View High School. Both the district and the police department are asking anyone who knows anything about the threats to come forward.