Thursday, October 12, 2000

Race-hate signs put on roads in Amelia


Tension continues

By Tom O'Neill
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        AMELIA — Signs professing white power and pride were found Wednesday morning along streets near Amelia High School, where racial tension has simmered for several weeks.

        The Clermont County Sheriff's Department is investigating the signs, which apparently were placed along roads sometime early Wednesday, Sheriff A.J. “Tim“ Rodenberg said.

        The three signs were black with white-stenciled letters that read “White Power” and “White Pride.” The signs were affixed to telephone polls on Clough Pike and Amelia-Olive Branch Road.

        There are no suspects.

        The signs are the latest development in an escalation of racial tension that, according to the sheriff's department, includes taunting of black students by several whites displaying the Confederate flag, criminal damaging charges against an African-American student involving a white student's truck, and a decision by some black parents to keep their kids out of school.

        A fistfight last week led to the suspension of five students, both black and white.

        The series of incidents have led to one student facing a hearing in Clermont County Juvenile Court, though that charge of criminal damaging was signed by the school, not police, and was not considered a criminal matter, the sheriff said. The school, he added, wanted to handle it internally.

        The signs found Wednesday were quickly removed and there was no indication they were seen by students as they were transported to school Wednesday morning.

        “We're working with school authorities,“ the sheriff said. “It was racial hatred, white supremacy type signs.”

        This week has been a difficult one for the high school of 1,400 students in the West Clermont School District. About 1 percent of the school's student population is African-American.

       



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