Videos appear to show white students in blackface at a Chicago-area neighborhood over the weekend, CBS Chicago reported. The video sparked students to stage a walkout Monday at the Homewood-Flossmoor High School, some 27 miles south of Chicago.
School officials said they were taking the incident seriously, but it’s unclear if and how the students involved would be disciplined.
The faces of the four sophomore boys who appear in the video have been blurred because they’re minors. The video shows the students with black paint smeared across their faces driving around. At one point ordering from a fast food restaurant.
One kid is wearing a sweatshirt with the high school’s logo. Within hours, the posts had been shared thousands of times.
Aniyah Askew, a sophomore at the school, said the posts brought her to tears. “To me it’s just disgusting to see that people that I associate with. I sit with in class and laugh with, have spent time with, that they would do something like that,” she told CBS Chicago.
In a statement, the school said the posts were “highly offensive and culturally insensitive.” But due to confidentiality laws can’t discuss discipline and noted that the incident took place outside school property.
But it’s touched a nerve on campus. A small group of moms, including Lashawn Littrice, even met with the superintendent Monday morning to express their concerns. “We don’t want to be blinded to that fact that this stuff exists and it needs to be addressed now,” Littrice said.
Danielle Askew, a parent, said, “I think we need a meeting with the school.”
In a social media post that has since been taken down, one student apologized and said he didn’t know what blackface was. But many students, parents and alumni said that doesn’t excuse it. One young man told CBS Chicago he was leading a walkout with students Tuesday afternoon.
On Monday, CBS Chicago asked to speak with the school’s superintendent and principal on-camera but that request was denied.