“Black Lives Don’t Matter: Kill Them All” Scrawled on Wall at Oakland School

Kisha Smith

Racism reared its ugly head at an Oakland school earlier this week as the words “Black Lives Don’t Matter: Kill Them All” were discovered on the wall of the girls bathroom at the Thornhill Elementary School in Oakland.

The offensive hate speech was quickly removed, but parents held a rally demanding further action from the predominantly White school in an upscale area, where Black students comprise just 10% of the school. They are calling on the school to provide more security on campus—including cameras as well as staff to address student’s mental health needs and for more focus on adversity.

After the rally, families led a series of workshops and discussions to help the school address the issue of racism.

“This is unacceptable,” famed attorney Ben Crump tweeted. “Parents are rightly demanding accountability. This learned behavior has to be adequately addressed — the safety of their Black students is at risk!

Remarking on behalf of the Oakland Unified School District, John Sasaki stated, “This kind of language is unacceptable anywhere in society, especially in our schools. Schools are meant to be warm, welcoming, and inclusive places of learning, where everyone feels protected and loved. This kind of incident erodes that sense of security.”

To address their concerns Sasaki said the district would provide anti-racist teachings, increased supervision and professional development for support staff.

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond—who has since visited the school—said that his office is providing support and facilitators.

Said Thurmond, “The state is available to help in any way that we can”.

Thus far, the student—or students—responsible for the racist graffiti have not been identified.