Residents are divided in reaction to pictures taken inside Pearl-Cohn High this week. The photos show water fountains labelled 'White Only' and 'Black Only'. Another picture shows segregated doors.

Some viewers wrote in calling the pictures intentionally divisive and stirring resentment with painful imagery. 

"That would come as shocking if you weren't getting the whole intent of the lesson with the teacher, yes," said Pearl-Cohn High executive principal Miriam Harrington. "It was a comparison over time in how we are benefiting from social injustices and advocacy."

Harrington said the teacher behind the display has some students with disabilities and wanted to give them examples of past injustices to other groups and how the country moved forward.

"It's showing the kids through advocacy and through processes you can make a difference regardless of who you are and where you are," said Harrington. "Also, the teacher did talk about women's suffrage. We also talked about the LGBTQ community."

Harrington said the signs are down now. That part of the lesson is over. 

Harrington said she's heard the divided opinions in the community, but she doesn't regret the lesson for her students. 

"The students were taking away, 'what are you benefitting from now?'" she said. "This is another learning experience for our kids."

Copyright 2019 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


Forrest Sanders is an award-winning reporter, videographer and editor at News4.

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