White Teachers Promised Grisly Fate in Death Threat, But the 19-Year-Old High School Student Who Allegedly Did It Won't Be Charged
In a Pennsylvania school district that vows it will not tolerate violence, a death threat against white teachers will go unpunished.
Last week, a girls’ bathroom at Upper Darby High School outside of Philadelphia was adorned with the message, “Y’all better start hiring more black teachers or five white ones will die,” according to the Daily Times.
Upper Darby Police Superintendent Timothy Bernhardt said the department heard about the incident from a parent — not the school. When police checked, they were told a developmentally challenged 19-year-old was to blame, according to the school.
Upper Darby police investigate high school threat against teachers https://t.co/pMm9BQhjng
— ladysixers600 (@joanna4800) March 6, 2023
By the time police were called, the graffiti had been cleaned up. The student’s mental capacity and the lack of evidence all factored in the decision not to pursue charges, Bernhardt said.
“Nobody is able to really place the girl in that bathroom at the time other than the process of elimination from a teacher who knows that those special needs students were in that bathroom at that period of time,” he said.
Upper Darby School District Superintendent Dan McGarry said the district, which did not consider the graffiti to be a direct threat, did everything right.
“We don’t go and chase and publicly communicate every single social media or graffiti incident. We investigate them but we don’t put out a communication every single time, unless we know for sure what we have in front of us, and not enough information to vet it,” McGarry said.
“In this particular situation, there has been some writing on a bathroom wall. … We couldn’t identify anybody at the time. We did communicate and work with police and we’ve investigated that matter and investigated with police and done our part internally. Given the circumstances, it really could not go out with a public review of all that information,” he said.
Parent Jessica Daphne ripped into the school’s response in a blazing Facebook post.
“So….. let’s talk about the elephant in the room. The principal of the high school took this as a joke. A JOKE???? REALLY??? I thought jokes were funny. This is far from funny and if the shoe was on the other foot it would have made the news. This is a direct threat to any TEACHER who looks Caucasian in UDSD. To me, this is a serious situation,” she wrote.
“Correct me if I’m wrong but, the kids in our school district are out of control, all the way down to the elementary schools. Something has to happen.
“This is unexceptional on so many levels. I feel sorry for their futures with this mentality. With a community as diverse as upper darby, racism shouldn’t even exist. It’s taught at home. STOP TEACHING HATE TO OUR CHILDREN.
“This is disgusting. I know a post on social media isn’t going to help the situation….but we received an email earlier with no mention of this fancy art work. So I thought I’d fill you in on some more details,” she concluded.
The missive to which Daphne referred was one from McGarry to parents saying, “recent student behaviors are unsettling to say the least.”
“Over the past few months, the increase in physical altercations on the way to school or on the way home from school while walking or on our buses, conduct in our schools, and even conduct in the evening and over the weekend has to improve,” he wrote, according to WTXF-TV.
The letter said conduct that leads to violence is unacceptable.
“We can no longer tolerate the physical nature of recent behaviors in our schools, on our buses and in our community. We are putting our staff, our emergency responders, and other students in potentially unsafe situations,” he wrote.
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