Probe Into Racial Note Ongoing
With contributions by Simon Schuster and Harrison Watt
Seaholm administrators continue to investigate a racial note that was found in Mathematics teacher Leslie Martin’s classroom on March 26.
The note, left in Martin’s classroom, contained what the administration has referred to as “racial overtones”.
The note drew parallels between 17 year-old Florida student Trayvon Martin, who was killed in late February by a neighbourhood watch member, and African American students and faculty members.
When brought to the attention of Principal Dee Lancaster, she contacted deputy superintendent Paul DeAngelis and a report was filed with the Birmingham Police Department.
A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the police department, filed March 29 was denied. The department sighted its ongoing investigation as the reason for the denial. The Highlander is in the process of appealing that denial.
Shortly after the discovery of the note, an email sent to Seaholm’s faculty informed them of the incident. At 2:30 p.m. Lancaster made an announcement to the student body over the PA system with a similar message, along with a request for information that would be helpful to the investigation.
Lancaster also notified parents of Seaholm students by email shortly after the announcement. She said swiftly informing the community of the situation was key to resolving the incident.
“This way we’re going to get better information,” Lancaster said in an interview. “We’re going to get better leads, so people aren’t going to be speculating.”
According to Lancaster, it’s only a matter of time until the author of the note is found.
“You wait, and keep your ear to the ground,” Lancaster said. “Who it was will surface eventually. I’m confident that we’ll be able to find out who did it.”