John Muir Elementary in Seattle, where 48 percent of the students are black.
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John Muir Elementary in Seattle, where 48 percent of the students are black.
Credit: Flickr Photo/Joe Wolf http://bit.ly/2cLugNE (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Seattle school cancels Black Men Uniting event after online threat

An event at a South Seattle school aimed at inspiring students of color has been canceled after John Muir Elementary received an online threat.

Black men from around the city had been scheduled to greet students at the school with high-fives as kids entered the building Friday. Teachers had announced they would wear Black Lives Matter T-shirts. About half of all Muir students are black.

A district spokesman says the school received a threat related to the Black Lives Matter shirts. A source says it was a bomb threat. The spokesman said Friday's event was meant to celebrate students of color and help narrow the opportunity gap.

Chris Porter, a nurse practitioner, was among 25 to 30 black men who showed up to John Muir on Friday morning. He said 200 were expected.

“As a black man, a man of color, the conversation about who I am, what I’m about and what interests me is never really told from my perspective,” Porter said.

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He said he wished the event hadn’t been canceled. He noted that this week marks the 53

rd

anniversary of the bombing of the Baptist church in Birmingham, Alabama. There, four little girls were killed.

“Those parents went back out into the streets and to protest,” he said. “No credible threat thwarted this inspiring event.”

By showing up despite the threat, he said his hope was to show the students that “anything is possible.”

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“We stood there to help them see the variety of that possibility,” he said. “We are doctors, nurse practitioners, plumbers, electricians – and reminding them to have a nice day.”