- YouTube/CBS Chicago
- Roughly 1,000 students in Chicago walked out of class on Tuesday, in protest of a viral video that showed several of their peers wearing blackface.
- The video shows the boys, with their faces blackened, laughing and shouting as they drive up to a fast-food restaurant.
- School administrators have condemned the boys’ behavior, but said in a statement they can’t legally discuss what discipline will occur.
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A viral video showing several white, Chicago-area students in blackface has sparked outrage and prompted hundreds of their classmates to walk out of class Tuesday, amid growing calls for the offending students to be expelled.
School administrators estimated that roughly 1,000 took part in the walkout, and praised the students in a statement for being “amazing” and conducting themselves “in a very peaceful and orderly manner.”
A number of students and parents have told local media outlets they want the offending students kicked out of school over their actions.
The video that started the controversy shows the boys in blackface, driving in a car and eventually arriving at a McDonald’s drive-thru. One of the boys can be seen wearing a Homewood-Flossmoor High School hoodie.
At least four students are visible in the video, though it’s unclear if one of them was wearing blackface like the others. CBS Chicago reported that one of the students involved apologized in a since-deleted social media post, and said he didn’t know what blackface was.
Homewood Flossmoor High School’s principal and the school district’s superintendent released a joint statement Tuesday saying they could not legally share information on how the students were disciplined, but that they understood the community’s frustration.
“But do know that the type of behavior these students displayed is not condoned by the school, and that we are doing everything possible to ensure that these students understand the ramifications of their actions and that appropriate consequences are received,” the statement said.
The administrators also said they would meet with all students during their English classes on Wednesday for an “interactive conversation” about the incident.
Students at Homewood-Flossmoor high school stage walkout after video of classmates in blackface surfaces on social media. Kenzie Ave. closed as students march down street. @nbcchicago pic.twitter.com/rasJwh9S9v
— Chris Hush (@ChrisHushNBC) April 30, 2019
The mayors of Homewood and Flossmoor also spoke out about the incident, releasing a statement on Monday condemning the boys’ behavior.
“No matter the age or the action of the person, hurtful and offensive behavior is neither accepted nor condoned,” the mayors, Richard Hofeld of Homewood and Paul Braun of Flossmoor, wrote. “Our diversity is a fundamental value that should be fully embraced, respected, and at the forefront of our community.”
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