After U.S. Attorney General William Barr had protesters violently cleared using tear gas in Washington, D.C. earlier in June, students at his alma mater want him removed as distinguished alumnus.
On June 2, President Donald Trump wanted a photo op in front of St. John’s Church, so he allegedly had Barr order the police clear peaceful protesting. Barr has denied this.
Seeing this abuse of power, enraged people nationwide and specifically in the Bronx, where Barr graduated from Horace Mann School in 1967. In 2011, the school honored him as a Distinguished Alumnus Award winner.
A month ago Jessica Rosberger and Kiara Royer, members of the Horace Mann School’s Class of 2020, launched a petition requesting the school remove Barr as distinguished alumnus.
So far they have 8,600 signatures with a goal of 10,000.
“The two of us started a petition in early June asking the Horace Mann administration and Alumni Council to reconsider Barr’s status as a Distinguished Achievement Award recipient due to Barr’s violent clearing of protestors for the president’s political gain in Washington, D.C.,” Royer said. “We found Barr’s acts to be in clear disregard of our democratic values of free speech and racial justice and also against our school’s core values and mission statement.”
The girls have contacted the alumni council twice and have not received any responses in return. Also, as of June 25, they discovered that the alumni council has decided to table their petition in an attempt to let it slowly dissipate from public awareness.
The school has put distance between themselves and Barr since the incident.
“William Barr should not be held as a model member of our community because of his disgraceful actions,” the petition states. “Sign this petition to urge the school administration to rethink his status as a Distinguished Alumnus Award winner and show Horace Mann in numbers that we do not align nor identify with this inappropriate use of power.”