A Kickapoo High School student has been disciplined after placing a video on the social media network Snapchat using offensive and racist language and making suggestions of violence.
The video has a boy telling minority students to stay out of a locker room and accuses them of criminal activity.
The following letter was sent from Kickapoo High School Principal Bill Powers to parents about the incident:
Dear Kickapoo community:
We are aware of a video posted on Snapchat by a Kickapoo student and shared on other social media platforms. The video contains incredibly offensive content, including statements of racism, with suggestions of violence. I am reaching out to assure you that we take this very seriously and will address this unacceptable conduct as follows:
· We have applied the maximum scope of discipline, as outlined by our district’s handbook, for the student who made and posted the video. The law does not allow us to be specific on the disciplinary actions we have taken, but I assure you that it is significant and appropriate.
· We have reported this to the Children’s Division of the Missouri Department of Social Services and to law enforcement.
· We have reached out to social media platforms to report the offensive content and request its removal.
· We have reached out to our community partners, including the NAACP, to update them on the situation and our response, while also inviting them to work with us on next steps to move forward with healing and reconciliation for our student body.
· Additional counselors, who comprise a care team, will be onsite at school tomorrow to help reassure our students and family members that Kickapoo is a safe, inclusive environment for all, where diversity is both appreciated and celebrated.
The last few months have been difficult for our school, but together we have an opportunity to rise above the divisive behavior demonstrated by a few vocal students. The vast majority of our Kickapoo family are welcoming individuals with big hearts who work extraordinarily hard to demonstrate kindness and love every day. We are committed to ensuring that each and every student is respected and supported. Our ultimate goal is for all students to achieve their full potential, supported in a safe environment that fosters their learning and growth.
As parents and guardians, we ask for your continued support in reinforcing the values and expectations outlined in this message at home with your student. Working together, I am confident that we will emerge from this stronger than before.
Thank you for caring for our students, school and community. I encourage you to reach out to me at any time with questions or concerns.
Dr. Bill Powers