An Iowa high school principal is using taxpayer resources and his school’s name and mascot to promote the Black Lives Matter movement, though public donations are offsetting the cost.
Iowa City High School Principal John Bacon told KCRG he spent school funds to print about 250 signs in support of Black Lives Matter as “a show of support for his student body.”
Email me if you would like one for your yard. pic.twitter.com/DBKzlzSPTk
— John Bacon (@JBacon23) June 16, 2020
The signs, which were all distributed for free this week, read: “Black Lives Matter. We Stand Together. We are City High Little Hawks. The School That Leads.”
“What we’re trying to do is show our students and our community that we don’t want to be silent during this time,” Bacon said. “We want to take a step to show our support.”
City High’s student population is about 18 percent black, according to data from the Iowa Department of Education. Bacon told the news site he received donations from the community to offset the cost that totaled almost $1,000.
The sign giveaway comes just a day after the Iowa City council voted unanimously to adopt a list of demands from the Iowa Freedom Riders, a group organizing protests in the city that have left buildings marred with spray-painted social justice slogans.
“I’m excited,” Mayor Bruce Teague said at the four-hour virtual council meeting. “We’re not all the way there, don’t get me wrong, but this is amazing.”
The changes involve restructuring the Iowa City Police Department with a focus on unarmed “community-policing,” $1 million “for efforts to promote racial equity and social justice, a new affordable housing plan, and an investigation into police tactics used at a June 3 protest in the city. The 18 commitments also include the establishment of a “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” to hold public hearings about racial injustices in Iowa City, a Juneteenth holiday, and the dismissal of all pending charges against protestors, KCRG reports.
The mayor likened the mayhem during recent protests to rowdy football fans.
“Given the circumstances, there was unacceptable behavior being performed, and we see it all the time,” Teague said. “We see it for football games here. When there’s football games, there’s allotment and acceptance of behaviors that just would not be tolerated any other time, and of course, once the game is over, things are back to normal.”
The council meeting came with some debate and comments from the public, but council members ultimately adopted most demands from local social justice warriors, word for word.
“At times when the council debated the wording of certain proposals in the resolution, Mayor Pro Tem Mazahir Salih and (At-Large Council Member Laura) Bergus encouraged the group to adhere to the demands presented by the Iowa Freedom Riders, some of whom reiterated those demands during the first hour of the meeting, in a public comment period,” KCRG reports.
“We want to make sure it’s right,” council member Janice Weiner told the news site.