Suggesting that a “racist and offensive” photo being shared on social media is connected to the football rivalry between Brentwood and Ravenwood high schools, Brentwood High Principal Kevin Keidel sent an email Thursday to students and families admonishing the circulation of the image.
Known as the Battle of the Woods, the week leading up to the annual football game between the Bruins and the Raptors is typically filled with spirited words or actions that are generally harmless. Some are not so wise, and as Keidel pointed out in his email, some are inexcusable.
“There is a disturbing and honestly heart breaking picture circulating on social media that I want to address with each and every one of you,” Keidel’s email reads.
“Frankly, I see the post as racist and offensive. While I acknowledge that it is the week of the Battle of the Woods, and some of the choices made during this week aren’t wise, there is no excuse for this type of behavior no matter when it was done or when it was shared.
“You must make better choices and the time to begin is now."
Keidel went on to say in his email:
“When you participate in, retweet, share, post or comment on social media, you can be part of the problem or part of the solution. Something you think is funny may be hurtful to someone else, so why would you want to do that? If you stand by and witness bad behavior, you miss an opportunity to be better. You have the power to build bridges, mend fences and be leaders for good in our school, community and world. I believe that you can be better. I believe we can all be better.
“I don’t believe this is our image; I don’t believe this is the image that you want our school or greater community to have of you or of our school; and I don’t believe in my heart of hearts that you truly believe this type of behavior is appropriate.
“I believe you want your image and our school image to be a positive one, and I don’t believe you think this type of behavior is appropriate.
“This type of behavior does not represent our student body, school or district. No matter the reason, it is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.
“We obviously have more work to do to create a compassionate and safe place for all, and I’m ready and willing to work with each and every one of you to make Brentwood High such a place. Please join us in making Brentwood a more positive and welcoming place.”