Mar 15, 2010 6:55 PM by Rob Kirkpatrick

Who Posted "Racist" Signs In Lafayette?

No one has come forward claiming responsibility for placing controversial signs around Lafayette.

The signs read, "The LPSB hates black children."

Some think it's a racist message. Others believe it's a jab at the school board for decisions they've made that negatively impact black students, including, possibly phasing out N.P. Moss Middle.

The groups, 100 black men of Greater Lafayette and Harvest Preparatory Academy, both say they're not behind the message.

These signs popped up the same week the school board is set to take action on a new career and technical high school.

The recommendation has been made to close N.P. Moss Middle, the fifth school that would be closed on the north side of Lafayette.

Over the past ten years, residents have seen the closure of St. Antoine, J. Wallace James, Truman, and Vermilion due to the desegregation case.
Controversial signs in Lafayette are sparking an outrage from residents. One is on the corner of Evangeline Thruway and Second Street. Another at Cooper and Martin Luther King Dr.

Some people see the signs as racist. The signs read, "LPSB Hates Black Children." The one on Cooper Dr. and MLK is posted in a neighborhood with a church behind it. The church, Our Lady Queen of Peace, says they had no part in placing the signs and has no idea who is responsible. The other posted on Thruway is in plain view for drivers to see.

The big question is who put the signs up and why? The signs drew crowds and even picture takers. The sign is the same size as a yard sign. It has a red background and white letters. Some say the sign is referring to race, while others say the issue is with the school board.

Former school board member, State Representative Rickey Hardy said he never saw anything that extreme in his 11 years of office. "It's obvious that the person who is putting out the signs has a deep concern about the children the school board is educating. It's probably not in their best interest. It's obvious by statistics, and you look at quality of the education they're providing them, it's a problem," said Hardy.

School board member Shelton Cobb says the acronym may not even stand for the school board. He says he's not sure what the issue is but has a guess, "In experiencing what has happened to the schools in the black community, many of them have been closed."

The most recent school recommended for closure is N.P. Moss Middle, it could become a technical school if approved by the board.

"I hope hatred hasn't sprung its ugly head, because we're trying to make a better decision that will benefit the entire community," said Cobb.

Cobb says he's not sure if the school board will address the issue at their next meeting. He says if there is something to address than it will come up.

Sarah Rosario



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