Student club poster at Glenbrook South draws accusations of racism

Posters placed on message boards at Glenbrook South High School recruiting students to join a conservative school government activity drew accusations of racism and a response from state legislators.

A May 7 Facebook item of a poster for the school's chapter of Turning Point USA included the caption, "China Kinda Sus," underneath a character from the online game, "Among Us."

The character, which on the poster bears the hammer and sickle symbol representing the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, is described on the game creator's website as an "alien impostor." The word, "sus," is a colloquial expression for "suspicious."

The poster itself was stamped as "Approved by the Assistant Principal (for) Student Activities" at Glenbrook South.

Turning Point USA is a nonprofit organization founded in 2012 with a mission to, as its website describes, "identify, educate, train, and organize students to promote the principles of freedom, free markets, and limited government." Its founder and president is Charlie Kirk, listed on LinkedIn as living in Prospect Heights.

The club at Glenbrook South is among seven listed activities concerning governmental interests; they include a Young Progressives Club as well as traditional groups such as Student Council.

The Facebook poster, who did not return messages, described the image and caption as "blatantly racist" and wrote that students and parents expressed concerns to Glenbrook South administration.

In correspondence dated May 1 on state of Illinois General Assembly letterhead, state Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz and state Sen. Laura Fine wrote that they met with Glenbrook High Schools District 225 Superintendent Dr. Charles Johns about the "anti-Asian material" that had been posted at the school.

According to the letter, Johns agreed to apologize to "students and families harmed by the this content" as well as conduct education and training for students and staff to combat "anti-Asian racism." The letter said Johns committed to reviewing and updating school policy about posting content on school grounds.

In an email sent May 10 to the Daily Herald, Johns stated: "We are continuing to investigate the situation. This thorough process is critical, as policies have broad implications."

More than two weeks ago a group called Stop Asian Hate GBS started a petition on the website that "demand(s) a public apology from the GBS administration and TPUSA directed to the communities affected by this message ..." As of the early afternoon of May 11 the petition had gained 1,674 signatures.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.