North Star High School officials on Thursday confiscated stickers with a picture of former President Barack Obama and the words “N-Word Pass” — a national meme that’s made its way to other schools across the country.

The meme with Obama’s photo is apparently a take on the cultural trope that allows white people to use the N-word, and at least two other schools in Maryland and Wisconsin disciplined students for handing out similar stickers. 

At North Star, a community member called Principal Ryan Zabawa after seeing a social media post saying a student at North Star was handing out such stickers.

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“We immediately started investigating the report and did find a student had distributed a few stickers before school to a limited number of their friends,” a letter sent home to parents said. “We have since confiscated the small number of stickers and the students will face appropriate consequences for their actions.”

Zabawa said he wanted to assure parents such material is not tolerated at North Star and doesn’t reflect the school’s mission or values.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7226 or mreist@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSreist.


Education reporter

Margaret Reist is a Lincoln native, the mom of three high school graduates now navigating college and an education junkie who covers students, teachers and policymakers inside and outside the K-12 classroom.

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