The upswing in acts of racial intimidation since Trump was elected President is a proven fact. However, some people still seem to doubt not only the mean behavior of adults but also children. The Southern Poverty Law Center released data earlier this week that states many of the acts of racial intimidation, harassment and violence are occurring at schools and college campuses. One mother was recently confronted with this issue when her son returned from school with serious burn marks on his body. According to a Facebook post by Lynette Hamilton, her son attends Ladue Horton Watkin High School near St. Louis, Missouri. The school has had a series of racial incidents among students. She posted the following on Nov. 15, 2016:
“I’m sure some of you have heard of the many hate crimes, racial slurs, racial acts and acts of violence going on since the election. Specifically surrounding Ladue Horton Watkins High School. There was an incident that took place on the bus where the white students suggested and chanted that the black kids should all go sit in the back of the bus(just last week) some already know my son attends Ladue he’s a sophomore.
Nov. 10 last week he was cornered in the classroom by a Caucasian student antagonized and taunted with a hot glue gun. Several times this student poked my son’s arm with a hot glue gun, squeezed out a big blotch in my son’s chair, not knowing he sat in it, resulting in his bottom being burned. That wasn’t it. This student continued by squeezing out hot glue on a piece of paper and slapping it on my son’s arm. He now has a third-degree burn. First thing Friday I went to the school demanded a principal and was told I need to schedule an appointment, first appoint available was Tuesday of the following week. After demanding to speak with someone now I was told someone will call me. My son’s principal did call back, however, was to follow up. To date, we have yet to speak with or hear back from a principal from the school. Ladue has to be one of the most racial profiling schools in Saint Louis, Missouri. This is sickening what is happening to our children and the response and action the district is taking when it comes to African American students. It saddens me.
After an anti-racism/bullying meeting today I learned that this problem has been in this district for years and years now. With little to no consequences. Get to the back of the bus, being burned and being told get on the ship to go back to Africa is just a piece of what this district has going on and try to sweep it all under the rug.”
The Ladue School administrators issued the following statement about the two incidents:
“The district has already shared a great deal of information about the bus incident. However, there are still some inaccuracies circulating about what happened. Both students who were disciplined served the entire assigned discipline period. Additionally, while two students were disciplined, they did not both engage in the exact same conduct. Finally, in a situation such as this, please know that removal from class is only one aspect of a consequence. Other actions may also be taken in an effort to ensure that students learn from the incident so that it is not repeated.”
Art Class Incident
“A student put hot glue from a hot glue gun on the arm of another student in seventh -period class, causing serious injury. This same student also spilled hot glue on the seat of the student whose arm was burned and neglected to clean it up before the student sat down. This was not an incident between an African -American student and a white student. The incident was not reported to the teacher during that class period, but the burn was noticed by the eighth -period teacher who sent the student to the nurse. On Friday morning, Nov. 11, 2016, an Assistant Principal investigated the incident, including speaking with the students involved, a witness, and the teacher. The Assistant Principal consulted with the high school principal to determine the appropriate disciplinary consequences. The mother of the student who was burned met with an administrator and the art teacher about the incident on Friday morning. Mid -morning, the mother of the student also talked with the Assistant Principal about the incident by telephone, and a referral to law enforcement was discussed. On Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016, the district’s Student Resource Officer notified the Assistant Principal that charges had been filed …”
Yesterday, dozens of students walked out of class to protest the racist incidents that have occurred at the school. The students then marched with parents to the district’s administrative offices and confronted district spokeswoman Susan Downing and demanded to speak with School Superintendent Donna Jahnke. The school official did come out to address the crowd of about 150 people and heard their concerns. Jahnke, who is White, told the crowd of students and parents that she didn’t know what it was like to be an African American but “If that’s how you feel, then we need to fix that. But we can’t fix it if you all won’t work with us.”
The protesting parents and students were not satisfied with her response and vowed to continue to exert pressure on the school to seriously address the issues.