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Marcus High School Promises Changes After Racist Photo Circulates

Officials at Marcus High School in Flower Mound alerted parents Wednesday about a “highly offensive photo” that was making the rounds on social media.

That photo was originally posted to Snapchat and showed a student standing next to a racist comment written on a whiteboard. Text over the photo read “What it’s like at Marcus.”

In a letter to parents, Principal Gary Shafferman wrote, “Please hear me clearly – this type of hateful speech will not be tolerated at Marcus High School."

Shafferman went on to say that the incident is being investigated and "any students found to be involved will face serious consequences according to our student code of conduct.”

Many parents received the letter as students got home from school. Prophetess Hayden said that’s when her granddaughters showed her the photo that had been texted to them earlier in the school day.

“When I asked them to show me, I was really just beside myself. If we don’t take a stand and do something and stand up for what change really should happen, then this is just going to be another incident that slides back under the carpet after things die down,” said Hayden.

Hayden says she hopes the school will use the incident as a chance to take time out to better educate students from all backgrounds about racial differences. Principal Shafferman addressed the same sentiment in Wednesday’s letter to parents.

“I must tell you, even in the midst of that anger and frustration, I heard from students who want to turn this into an opportunity for our campus to learn and grow,” Shafferman's letter to parents read.

A district spokesperson said she was unaware of any similar incidents at Marcus High School in the past.

You can read the entire letter to parents below or click here:

Jan. 31, 2018

Marcus High School Parents,

As some of you may be aware, a highly offensive photo of a Marcus student standing next to a racist comment written on a whiteboard is making the rounds on social media. Please hear me clearly – this type of hateful speech will not be tolerated at Marcus High School. It has no place at MHS, and does not reflect our campus’ dedication to inspire all students to become confident, self-directed, lifelong learners. It does not reflect Marauder Pride.

We are currently investigating the situation, and I want to assure each of you any students found to be involved will face serious consequences according to our student code of conduct. I made a building-wide announcement about this before school dismissed – I told our students I shared their anger and frustration, and we would promptly address the situation.

But I must tell you, even in the midst of that anger and frustration, I heard from students who want to turn this into an opportunity for our campus to learn and grow. That made a powerful statement to me about how the overwhelming majority of our students feel about this type of hateful rhetoric. They want to address it head on and help create an even better climate and culture at Marcus.

To that end, beginning tomorrow, our campus administrators will work with our student leaders to develop a plan of action. I know any meaningful change on our campus will come from our students sharing their voices, their experiences, and their caring and compassion for each other.

We will not let this incident define us, but we will absolutely let it move to the forefront some important conversations on our campus. I hope it leads to some productive conversations between you, your child(ren), and their friends as well.

As I said to our students – my door and the doors of all our administrators are open. If you or your child(ren) have any additional concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Thank you for your continued support of our campus.

Gary Shafferman
Principal
Marcus High School

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