— Jaimie (@its_jaimm) April 28, 2017
What should be the response of administration and the police to a racist physical threat made on social media by a student at a high school campus?
Students at Niles North High School in Chicago’s suburb of Skokie decided the response was insufficient.
Hundreds of students staged a walkout when a racist threat from one of Niles North student was circulated on Snapchat.
Students at Niles North High School in north suburban Skokie walked out of class Friday afternoon to protest what they believed was a lack of discipline for a student who posted a racist message on social media.
School officials said they are still investigating the incident; information that the student received a one-day suspension was inaccurate, they said.
Earlier Friday morning, students at the school participated in an organized walkout in the morning with the encouragement of school officials in honor of Stand Against Racism Day, a national event sponsored by the YWCA, School District 219 said in a statement.
Later in the afternoon, some students staged an additional, unannounced walkout, school officials said.
“We came together in unity to show that together, we can organize against inequity, racism and other forms of injustice,” the students said in a statement provided by District 219. “We the students have the power to elicit change. We are the future and we are committed to continue to work toward equity at Niles North.”
The second walkout of the day was related to an incident on social media earlier in the week.
School officials said a student had posted a photo of a BB gun on Snapchat with a racist comment. The school notified the Skokie Police Department, which investigated and found that the post “did not pose a direct threat to the school.”
A screenshot of the student’s Snapchat post was included in a story about the incident on patch.com. On the photo are the words: “If youre a n—– I pull the trigger”
Did not pose a direct threat to the school?
Could the authorities miss the point by a longer shot?
I was thinking about Skokie the other day. Thirty years ago it was a town with mainly Jewish residents, including members of my own family. Many of Skokie’s Jews were survivors of the Nazi Death camps, what Sean Spicer called Holcaust Centers.
In 1977 the American Nazi Party provoked the Jews of Skokie by announcing they would march through the town.
The reason I was thinking about it are the similar provocations by the Alt.Right fascists and confrontations in Berkeley, California.
The racist and homophobe Anne Coulter was scheduled to speak at Cal last week. “The best thing you can do is ignore them,” students and protesters were told.
How does ignoring racism and the racists make them go away?
I remembered that they made a made-for-TV movie about the Nazis in Skokie.
Good for the students at Niles North.
They didn’t need a lecture from adults on how to respond to racist bullying.
They are peaceful and non-violent, but they are holding the adult authorities to account.
The kids are alright.