HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – An alumnus of Horry County Schools is asking the district to denounce racism and change up its curriculum.
Melinda Custer, who graduated from Carolina Forest High School in 2013 and currently lives in California, according to her Change.org profile, started a petition addressing the Horry County Board of Education.
The petition starts off saying, “Dear Horry County Board of Education, you have failed us.”
It goes on to state that it’s the school district’s responsibility to educate students on system racism and its effects but claims that the district did not do that.
“Many of us did not know what white privilege was until we attended college, which is an opportunity afforded to us largely due to privilege. We did not learn about how system racism still pervades our society today during our school experiences in Horry County,” Custer stated in the Change.org petition.
The petition asks that HCS publicly denounce racism and also take steps toward creating anti-racist curriculum at schools.
“You need to do more. It’s not enough to only learn about Black history in the month of February,” the petition states.
Lisa Bourcier, a spokesperson for Horry County Schools, said that the district is aware of the petition and released this statement:
“We were recently made aware of a change.org petition regarding anti-racism. First and foremost, there is no place for racism or discrimination in Horry County Schools. We will not support or tolerate toxic, divisive speech or actions associated with hate, racism, discrimination, or intolerance of any kind. Horry County Schools will continue to promote an atmosphere of acceptance and inclusivity. Horry County Schools will also continue to utilize the curriculum standards established by the South Carolina Department of Education which promote the study of diverse cultures and populations.”
As of 10 p.m. Tuesday, 579 people have signed the petition. Custer is hoping to get 1,000 signatures.