BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) students and their allies at Charles Page High School in Oklahoma walked out in protest of racism at their school following an incident in which an individual handed out "White privilege" cards to students.
These so-called “White privilege cards” are sold as satirical gag gifts on Amazon and are apparently popping up across the country in addition to other areas in Oklahoma, according to FOX 23.
But some students did not see the humor in the item that was reportedly spotted for the first time locally in Sand Springs.
Student Fabian Gaytan told the news station he was called a racial slur as someone handed him a card that read:
“White Privilege Trumps Everything. Member since birth. Good thru death. Card holder, Scott Free."
\u201cRacism is well and alive in Oklahoma, it actually never died just got hidden well... research Tulsa!!!!!\n\n\u201cWhite Privilege\u201d Cards Lead High School Students to Stage Walk Out in Frustration https://t.co/sm3gS0DSUd\u201d— Locness Goddess (@Locness Goddess) 1662641375
Previously, a Snapchat offering a cash reward for capturing a Black student whom was referred to as a "slave" circulated online.
Shawnna Davis said she and other students had had enough of the mounting racist incidents within two weeks at the school and staged a protest on Wednesday.
“It makes me feel horrible. They shouldn’t have to go through this. It doesn’t matter what your race is, your gender, or sexuality."
According to Tulsa World, one of Angela Stites’ twin daughters–who are Native American and Black freshmen at Charles Page High–had one of the cards waved in front of her face by a fellow White student who was laughing about it.
\u201c"Parents had previously complained about racism within the Sand Springs school district (Oklahoma). This time, the students had enough."\n\ud83e\udd22\ud83e\udd2e Sickening.\n\n\u201cWhite Privilege\u201d Cards Lead High School Students to Stage Walk Out in Frustration https://t.co/ljtQdOqlMJ via @Yahoo\u201d— Michael Schwartz (@Michael Schwartz) 1662598646
Stites' understanding of the incident was that a few male students were handing out the cards after the mother of one of the students bought them on Amazon and gave them to her son to distribute.
\u201cSO THEY ARE THE FUTURE OF AMERICA?? IT DOESN'T LOOK TOO GOOD \ud83d\ude08\ud83d\ude08\ud83d\ude08\ud83d\ude08\ud83d\ude08\ud83d\ude08\ud83d\ude08\ud83d\ude08Oklahoma school district responds to racist Snapchats and students handing out 'white privilege cards' https://t.co/s7b4YDXB3q\u201d— kittykat48 (@kittykat48) 1662043569
She said the male student was selling the cards for $1 in the morning and then eventually started handing them out after the "sales dried up."
Sand Springs Public Schools Superintendent Sherry Durkee said she and members of her administrative team took immediate action responding to another incident in which a student made racist remarks aimed at a student online.
Durkee told KOTV:
"The bottom line is we want to provide a safe environment, a positive culture so our students feel valued."
You can watch a video of a news report, here.
Sand Springs Students Walk Out Of School In Protest Of Racist Incident youtu.be
And in response to the "White privilege" cards, Durkee said “it has been appropriately handled” and “appropriate disciplinary action was taken.”
\u201cI say kick them kids out of school. There is no room for racism in my world \n\u201cWhite Privilege\u201d Cards Lead High School Students to Stage Walk Out in Frustration https://t.co/SZ5NtnQqZi\u201d— DollarBill (@DollarBill) 1662623953
She said she was not aware of how many cards have been handed out. “We just know of a few,” she said.
\u201cJust think how socially acceptable this is in OK for the students to feel comfortable to hand these out.\n\n\u201cWhite Privilege\u201d Cards Lead High School Students to Stage Walk Out in Frustration https://t.co/TmkWZ1pYiX\u201d— Jamesmarshman (@Jamesmarshman) 1662647537
Durkee supports the approximately 40 students who expressed their 1st Amendment rights by walking out in response to the incidents of racism and bullying at the school.
“I think students felt the need to have their voices heard, which is understandable."
"About 40 kids walked out at 11 today. There was no violence. They spoke their piece. They weren’t off campus.
“Then they disassembled and went back to school.”
“I would say thank you for standing up. I want to hear what you have to say. I think our administrative team does, as well."
“Our job is to educate them, but a part of educating them is to listen to them.”
\u201cThis the unintended consequence of not being honest about history. Oklahoma school district responds to racist Snapchats and students handing out 'white privilege cards' https://t.co/tFgwigUcna\u201d— John Dandridge (@John Dandridge) 1662044355
\u201cUnbelievable. But not surprising\n\nKids that did this learn this at home from adults, not at school. \n\nWe are ALL Americans, no one is more privileged than the other.\n\n\u201cWhite Privilege\u201d Cards Lead High School Students to Stage Walk Out in Frustration https://t.co/wyiXn4lxkH\u201d— Donna Stidham (@Donna Stidham) 1662660381
Yahoo! News strongly indicated the problem was inherent in the lack of education–particularly when it comes to the subject of race as the teaching of critical race theory in public schools is banned in the state of Oklahoma–and the fact that racism is taught at home.