ETHS students respond to homophobic snow message with one of ‘love’


Source: ETHS website

Evanston Township High School students spelled out the word “love” on school grounds Friday. District 202 Superintendent Eric Witherspoon approved the student’s request to spell out the word after school officials discovered the word f—-t spelled out in the snow Thursday morning.

Jia You, Assistant City Editor

Evanston Township High School students carved the word “love” in the snow Friday, a day after school officials found an anti-gay slur stomped in the drifts outside the school.

“I know that many of you who saw the word in the snow this morning were appalled and very troubled to think that anyone would do such a thing at ETHS,” District 202 Superintendent Eric Witherspoon said in a statement to students Thursday.

Witherspoon said school officials discovered the homophobic message stomped in “billboard-sized” block letters in the snow on the school lawn Thursday morning.

The anti-gay word’s appearance could warrant a hate crime investigation, Witherspoon said, later equating the act to painting a swastika on a synagogue or burning a cross in someone’s front yard.

“This act of aggression is hurtful and can have damaging effects on the victims’ sense of belonging and feelings of vulnerability,” he said.

Witherspoon affirmed the school’s commitment to diversity in his statement, calling on students to ensure this act is not representative of the entire ETHS community.

In response to the incident, Witherspoon approved a request for students to stomp out the word “love” in large uppercase letters in the snow before school Friday. The picture of the word has since received more than 180 likes on the school’s Facebook page.

— Jia You