CHICAGO (CBS) — Videos appear to show white students in blackface at Homewood-Flossmoor over the weekend.
Students there said they’re planning to protest those who participated. CBS 2’s Megan Hickey spoke with parents and students. The school said it is taking this incident very seriously but it’s unclear if and how the students involved would be disciplined.
Tensions here are understandably high at the school.
CBS 2 has blurred the faces of the four sophomore boys who appear in the video 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 an HF Vikings sweatshirt. Within hours, the posts had been shared thousands of times.
Sophomore Aniyah Askew 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,” Askew said.
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.
“I think we need a meeting with the school,” added Homewood-Flossmoor parent Danielle Askew.
Students said that in a post that’s 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 CBS 2 spoke with said he’s leading a walkout with current students Tuesday afternoon.
On Monday, CBS 2 asked to speak with the school’s superintendent and principal on-camera but that request was denied.