Brief: Middle school student threatens students at Unity Point School following “White Privilege” card scandal

A grade seven student that passed out “White Privilege” cards to Black students at Unity Elementary School, threatened multiple times to harm students and staff at the school.

Terrisha Adams, a parent of students attending Unity Elementary School, brought up safety concerns to Unity Point School staff after hearing about incidents from her children, who also received the “White Privilege” cards. 

The cards were titled “White Privilege Card Trumps Everything.” The card number was “0045 0045 0045 0045” symbolically referring to former 45th President Donald Trump. The card symbolized membership from birth to death with the cardholder’s name being “Scott Free.” On the back of the card was, “ This card grants its bearer happiness and success because its the color of your skin and not the choices you make that determine your abilities to be successful.”


The grade seven student made violent threats to Black students in school, and Unity school administrators suspended the student, Adams said.

Adams reached out to the superintendent of the school, and received no response until she took to social media to recap the event, she said. Superintendent Dr. Laurie James-Gross reached out after Adams posted photos of the card on Facebook, she said. The superintendent wished Adams hadn’t posted on social media, though Adams  contacted the school multiple times before posting it, she said. School officials claim to have collected all the cards from students, but Adams said her children and other children still have them.

The student made additional threats to the school community after being suspended. School officials claimed the students’ reports of violent threats were just rumors, Adams said, and she contacted the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.

A letter was sent out by the school Friday, Feb. 18 said, “Unity Point is aware of the rumors that have been circulating of a potential threat to student safety at the school both yesterday afternoon and today. There has been a thorough investigation, and no tangible evidence has been found that would indicate any truth to the rumors of a potential threat to student safety.”

The letter said, in conclusion, the school respects the decision of parents taking children out of school, and the students’ safety is their biggest priority.  The school has “visual support” from Deputy Vaughn from the Jackson County Sheriff’s department as a precautionary action. Adams said it was parents’ efforts that got sheriff’s department support for the school. Unity Elementary School rescheduled its next board meeting to Tuesday, Feb. 22nd at 4:30 pm.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to more accurately reflect comments to Daily Egyptian staff

Staff reporter Jamilah Lewis can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @jamilahlewis. To stay up to date with all your southern Illinois news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.