Parkway Central students protest racist video by walking out of class

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CHESTERFIELD, Mo. – A group of students at Parkway Central High School has walked out of class Wednesday.  They’re protesting a racist video that was made off campus.

The Parkway School District has notified parents, students, and staff at Parkway Central High School about a disturbing video involving students on spring break. Racial slurs could be heard as well as someone chanting the word “slavery” over and over.

District officials say the incident did not happen at school.

FOX 2 attended a school board candidate forum at Central Middle School on Tuesday and asked the candidates and board members for reaction. The members who commented said the district values diversity and trusted the administration will take appropriate action.

“We have complete faith in the administration,” said board member Sam Sciortino. “The superintendent and the administration will handle these incidents. We are concerned, obviously.”

“We are in a larger school district and things might happen, but we take this very seriously,” said school board member Sudhir Rathod.

“These kinds of things should have a zero-tolerance policy in my opinion,” said board candidate Farida Ahsan.

School board candidate Pam Hill declined to comment, saying she had not seen the video in question.

In addition to a notification sent to parents, the following message was read to students and staff by the Central High principal.

As we come back together following spring break, I have a serious issue to address. As some of you know, a video with Central High students using racially charged language was posted to social media over the break. The video was viewed by a significant number of Central High students and other members of our community, causing many to justifiably feel offended, outraged, hurt, and, for some, targeted. Thankfully, several of you brought the issue to our attention, which allowed us to address the offensive video directly with the students responsible and their parents. The video was wrong and is not reflective of who we are and who we aspire to be as a school community.

As all of us know, Central High is a diverse school. I believe, as I know so many of you do, our diversity is one of our greatest strengths. Our core values of respect, integrity, and caring remind and inspire us to simply be loving to one another in our work together. We are not perfect by any means and we certainly have room for improvement, but I do believe we are truly committed to creating a school community that is accepting and supportive of each student.

Yet, despite our efforts to build community with and for one another, many of us are returning to school today with feelings of hurt and pain because of the actions of others. Please know that we feel your hurt and we are here to support you!

As I began my day this morning, knowing that I was going to make this announcement, I drew strength and inspiration from the wristband I wear everyday, which reads, “We are equal, we are loved.” These wristbands were created by Central High students last year and, for me, it reflects the true spirit of who we are as a school community. We are equal, we are loved!

Thank you for your attention this morning, thank you for your support of one another, and thank you for your intentional commitment to making this a loving school community for all of our students.

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