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Missouri High School Student Tearfully Addresses School Board After Racial Incidents

November 20, 2016 at 12:00 pm | Women

Charles Gichane

Charles Gichane

November 20, 2016 at 12:00 pm | Women

An emotional Tajah Walker addresses a high school board in St Louis, Missouri following racist attacks by her White classmates. Photo Credit St Louis Post-Dispatch.jpg

African-American students at Ladue Horton Watkins High School in St. Louis, Missouri, say they’ve had enough of being continuously discriminated against by their White classmates. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the students have been receiving racist comments and treatment, which they say has had a negative psychological impact.

Fifteen-year-old Tajah Walker, an African-American sophomore student at the high school says her and her mom have received racist comments, such as, “Are you ready to get back on the boat now that [Donald] Trump is president?”

This is not the first time such an incidents have taken place. Walker and other African-American students at the school claim that they were recently told to “sit at the back of the school bus” by two of their White classmates, who started chanting, “Trump, Trump, Trump.”

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the accused students, who remain anonymous due to U.S. federal privacy laws, were disciplined on Monday.

The experiences have left a psychological scar on Walker, who now says she fears going back to school.

Her courage to speak out has encouraged other African-American students and parents at the school to come forward about their own discrimination experiences.

For instance, Lynette Ursery Hamilton, a mother to an African-American sophomore student at the school took to her Facebook page on Tuesday to explain how she sought medical attention for her son after his White classmate burned him with a hot glue gun.

Plans Moving Forward

Officials at the school say they were planning to hold a number of tolerance initiatives before the bus incident.

According to the Ladue School District, diversity and equity training was held for staff and a student play and a discussion about race is scheduled for next week. The district has also pledged to end out-of-school suspensions for preschoolers through third-graders, which disproportionately affect students of color.

During Tuesday’s board meeting, Ladue Horton Watkins High School Principal, Brad Griffith, said, “Regardless of your political ideology, we embrace one another’s race and ethnicity. The issues of race, class, and ethnicity are the issues that have the potential to tear us apart.”

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