School: Election outcome sparks incidents against minority stude - WNEM TV 5

School: Election outcome sparks incidents against minority students

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DeWitt, Mich. (WNEM) -

DeWitt school officials are investigating three racially motivated incidents at its junior high school.

“I don’t think it is a coincidence that these incidents happened a day after a very contentious election,” Superintendent John Deiter said.

Deiter said one of the incidents investigated involved students locking arms and preventing a minority student from passing.

Another incident involved students lying down parallel in the hallway jokingly forming a wall. These students were not detained because they had not blocked anyone or said anything to other students.

“I will say that the actions that were reported are reprehensible and completely unacceptable,” Deiter said.

According to census information, about 94 percent of the school district’s 14,000 students are white.

“We are taking this very seriously and we will be drilling down into the situation,” Deiter said.

State Superintendent Brian Whiston released the following statement in regards to the incidents:

Since the U.S. Presidential election last week, there have been a number of reported incidents in Michigan schools of students harassing, bullying, intimidating, and using hateful speech toward other students.

I realize that certainly at the national level over the past year, we saw the debate go to a new low, and that is impacting the actions, demeanor, and mood in some of our schools.

Our schools must be safe havens for our children – free from hate; free from intimidation; free from bullying; and free from fear.

We need to cultivate and develop in our students a steadfast respect for all others, inclusive of race, religion, orientation, or social-economic standing. We must not let political rhetoric and actions diminish the positive learning environments we’ve worked so hard to nourish.

I ask that educators at all levels, from principals to teachers to parents, help their students understand that bullying and intimidation – in word and action – is unacceptable and will have consequences.

You can read a letter from Deiter about these incidents below:

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