The banner at the center of controversy in the South Whidbey School District for over a year has been stolen — again.
This is the second time in three months that someone has removed the Black Lives Matter banner from its place on a fence outside South Whidbey High School.
The first time it happened, community members donated to replace it and a congratulatory banner for 2021 graduates that was vandalized at the time of the theft.
The Island County Sheriff’s Office police blotter indicated the theft was called in at 10:28 a.m. Monday, Aug. 2, and that the caller may have a video of the incident.
The sheriff’s office did not respond by press time to a South Whidbey Record inquiry about whether there are any leads or suspects in the case.
Kristina Aquino Mac-arro, director of communications for South Whidbey School District, confirmed that the banner was stolen, not removed by the school, and that law enforcement was notified. She declined to comment further.
School board members did not address the theft during their public workshop Aug. 11.
The first Black Lives Matter banner was erected in 2020 at South Whidbey students’ request.
A group of community members has long opposed the banner, calling it political and repeatedly petitioning the school board for its removal.
Most board members maintain that the phrase “Black Lives Matter” is apolitical and meant only to affirm to Black students in South Whidbey schools that they are safe and welcome.