Two high school basketball players from Sheboygan Falls (Wisc.) High School were suspended recently after they took a photo holding up what the school perceived to be gang signs. The problem, one of the students says, is that he was simply making a three-point gesture while his younger brother was pointing at the camera.
Brothers Jordan, Jamal and Juwan Jackson just moved to Sheboygan Falls, and a local newspaper was writing a feature story about their arrival. Jordan told 620 WTMJ in Wisconsin that the photographer asked them to take one serious photo and one goofy one. It was the goofy one that landed them in trouble.
“I did it like every other kid does it when they make a 3,” Jordan, a senior, explained. “When you make a three, everyone does this sign. You’ve probably seen LeBron James or someone do it. I did the three in the picture, and my little brother pointed at the camera.”
The Sheboygan Falls superintendent of schools claims parents complained that the gestures looked like gang symbols when the photo was published. The two brothers who flashed the signs were suspended, and the police were reportedlt asked for assistance in analyzing the symbols.
“I had no idea,” Jordan said. “They told us it meant blood.”
Now, two of the brothers may have to sit out Friday’s game. The ACLU of Wisconsin said it will be investigating the case further.
“It appears as if the Sheboygan Falls school district and police department are unprepared to respond to the increasing diversity in the schools in an appropriate and educationally sound manner,” Executive Director Chris Ahmuty said in a statement. “The ACLU will be seeking information from the schools in order to assess their compliance with pupil non-discrimination rules. The ACLU asks the district to immediately make the brothers eligible to play in tomorrow’s game.”
Several years ago, Paul Pierce was fined $25,000 for flashing a symbol that involved holding up three fingers. The NBA felt that it was a gang-related sign. In this case, it certainly sounds like the students genuinely did not mean to spark controversy. You would think discretion could help sort the situation out. It’s not like they tossed up the shocker like these girls.
H/T The Big LeadGoogle+