EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – About 200 students at Easthampton High School organized a walk-out Thursday morning, to protest racism and discrimination that they say is happening on campus.
On Wednesday, an unknown number of students attacked another student in the school parking lot. That student had allegedly made a post on social media that included a racial slur.
Easthampton Mayor Karen Cadieux sent 22News a statement on behalf of the high school principal, Kevin Burke, saying that neither violence nor hate speech is tolerated by the school. Thursday, the school conducted a full investigation of what happened, and what punishments seem fit for each student involved. They also met with student leaders of each grade to learn more about the incident, and are informing parents about what happened.
The statement is as follows:
Our community, which includes students, staff, parents and administration does not condone hate speech or offensive language nor do we condone violence for any reason.
Yesterday in our parking lot there was a physical altercation between EHS students. What preceded the assault was a post on social media that included a racial slur. Both situations are not acceptable.
Let me be clear both hate speech and violence in all of its forms will not be tolerated here at EHS nor in the Easthampton community.
Right now there is misinformation regarding past and present events that have occurred at EHS. I want to caution everyone to make decisions and formulate opinions based on fact.
I want to make you aware of our next steps
* Today we will conduct a full investigation of what occurred and disciplinary consequences will result.
* This morning the faculty met and was informed of the events and discussed how to support students.
* We will meet with student leaders of each grade during first block to open a dialogue to hear students
* We will inform parents and guardians
* We will be reaching out to the community to find ways to address these issues and begin the healing process.
* We will continue to work together to address intolerance.
Neither the superintendent nor the mayor wanted to be interviewed on camera. 22News has sent them each additional questions, asking the condition of the attacked student, who he was addressing those slurs toward, and how long the punishments they decide will last. As of this time, they have not answered those questions.