An African-American freshman at the Clackamas Academy of Industrial Sciences (CAIS) in Oregon City said she found racist notes with the N-word in her books several times this month, reported KATU.
15-year-old Joy Simmons, who is currently studying engineering, said that she discovered the first racist notes just two weeks ago.
"I was in my class getting ready for a test and I opened my binder to get some supplies," Simmons told KATU. "And I saw a note and it had the N-word on it and I immediately went to the office and called my mom and she came in and talked to the principal."
Then, the week before Thanksgiving, Simmons found another note in her binder.
"It was before school in the morning," Simmons said. "I was getting ready to finish up some homework and it was sitting there right in front of my binder. It just fell out. ... It said, 'Go back to Africa, [N-word].'"
Simmons said she has not returned to school since.
A district spokesman sent an email to KATU that said, "The Oregon City School District will be consulting with outside agencies to ensure that we fulfill our obligation to adequately address this incident. It is our duty to provide a safe learning environment for all students and we welcome the assistance of community partners."
Simmons and her mother met with the principal, who assured them that this matter would be treated as a serious issue.
"I feel good because I know that he is trying to help in as many ways as he can," said Simmons about their meeting.
"Oregon City School District does not tolerate harassment or intimidation of any kind. We strive to create and sustain a safe and welcoming environment for all students.
"Any report of discrimination or intimidation is promptly investigated in compliance with Oregon law and board policy and in cooperation with the appropriate students and/or family.
"Schools and communities across the nation have noted an increase in incidents of racial harassment and intimidation. In response, school staff remain vigilant and committed to providing a safe and respectful learning environment through school-wide events such as assemblies and classroom discussions and activities.
"Our schools will continue to work with students and families, as well as outside partners, toward creating an inclusive environment that is safe and welcoming to all students."
(Photo: KATU News)