North Carolina

‘We are not enemies, we are allies.’ Enloe High fights back against hate messages.

The Enloe High School community is rallying together after racist and homophobic messages were sprayed at the East Raleigh magnet school two weeks ago.

Raleigh police are still trying to determine who vandalized two glass doors, a set of windows and one side of the exterior wall at Enloe on March 15 with what principal Will Chavis has called “racist, homophobic and insensitive messages.”

But the school has responded by encouraging conversations about the incident and a new campaign in which students and staff list derogatory words that don’t define them.

Chavis said in an interview Monday that the school doesn’t want the only narrative to be set by the people who committed the crime.

“As a school community that supports the diversity that it does — racially, socially and linguistically — it’s always important to tell what the true essence of life is at Enloe,” Chavis said. “We were able to turn it into a positive situation.”

Two posters have Enloe teachers and students standing together with the words “We are not thugs, we are brothers” and “We are not enemies, we are allies. “ Two other posters have images of female students with the words “I am not smart for a black girl. I am a smart black girl” and “We are not hysterical, we are passionate.”

Chavis’ tweet on Friday sharing photos of four posters had been liked 450 times as of Monday and retweeted more than 60 times.

“Two weeks ago, a senseless act occurred at Enloe,” Chavis said in the tweet. “Since then, members of our faculty and staff have taken a stance in fighting against hate and standing in solidarity! Proud of our community for changing the narrative!”

Enloe is one of Wake County’s top high schools, drawing students from across the county. Chavis was named Wake County Principal of the Year in October.

Enloe has been talking about equity all school year. On Thursday, Enloe’s PTSA is hosting “The Talk,”a one-man show by Sonny Kelly about the difficult conversation that black fathers have with their sons about the implications of race in America. The show was scheduled before the vandalism.

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Following the show, Kelly will be joined by State Board of Education member J.B. Buxton, a member of the Wake County sheriff’s office and a student on Enloe’s equity team for a discussion. The show and panel are 7 to 9 p.m. and are open to the public. Both will be at Enloe’s auditorium, 128 Clarendon Crescent in Raleigh.

Chavis tweeted Thursday that the show will be “one of the best performances and conversations of your lifetime.”

Tickets are $5 to $15 at https://enloe.memberhub.store/shopping/categories/12532.

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