The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is under fire for creating and displaying numerous posters depicting a Black student with crime scene tape wrapped around her neck in an advertisement for the school’s criminal justice program. The young woman in the poster is reportedly a student in the department.
The school is now apologizing after backlash from alumni, students and the general public.
According to WTMJ-TV,student Nate Rosek says his school’s lack of awareness over the poster in concerning. “It just seems sometimes there’s not someone in the room saying, ‘Hey, we should think about this for just an extra second,’” he said. “A person of color with crime tape around her neck. It gives you a bit of another thought.”
Wisconsin-Milwaukee has released a statement over the ad and its removal, admitting the depiction is inappropriate.
“The ad is part of a series created by UWM’s Helen Bader School of Social Welfare to encourage students to enroll in the school’s introductory criminal justice class,” the statement reads. “The ad series includes students of different races and ethnicities, and police tape was used as a prop in an effort to add interest to the photos. The students the school worked with on the ad agreed with the approach, and it was never anyone’s intent to offend or diminish the impact of violence in our community. We recognize now that the approach was inappropriate, and we sincerely apologize. We are removing the ads from circulation and will not use them again.”