ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - About 200 Ladue High School Students walked out of class Wednesday to protest what they see as unequal discipline. There is deep anger with the students who protested. Both black and white feel African-American students are not valued as highly as other races by their peers, and at times, by administrators.
Wednesday's protest follows two incidents last week where African-American students were targets of an assault with a hot glue gun and racial taunts. The students spent more than an hour and a half telling the superintendent why they feel marginalized. They marched around the school and to the administration building.
Facebook postings by the mother of a black student show the burns he received when a fellow student poked him with a hot glue gun. A spokesperson for the Ladue School District said the student disciplined in the case is Hispanic, not white.
The victim's mother complains the district was slow to respond to her calls. She and the protesting students charge there is a double standard when it comes to discipline at Ladue.
The school district released the following statement Wednesday afternoon:
"District staff members at every level are deeply concerned about the incidents that have occurred at our high school in the last few days. We are a district that believes in providing our students not only with academic opportunities, but also with opportunities to learn and grow in a safe and inclusive environment. Clearly, we have work to do, but we remain committed to providing a safe and positive learning environment for all of our students.
"The link below will take you to additional information regarding the two incidents that have received so much attention over the past week by the news media, as well as social media. While it is generally not our practice to share this level of detail with our community on discipline issues, we feel the climate in our district requires it at this time. The conversations we have going forward will be difficult and they should be based on facts.
"In reviewing this information, please be aware that student privacy laws specifically prohibit the district from disclosing personally identifiable student information, including disciplinary information. Our goal is to be as transparent as possible while still complying with the law.
"High school and district administrators are working with student and teacher leaders, and partnering with outside agencies, to begin meaningful conversations prior to the end of the week."