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Homewood-Flossmoor HS students plan walkout after blackface photo, video

By Diane Pathieu, ABC7 News

Some students have planned a walkout at Homewood Flossmoor High School Tuesday after a social media post showing students in blackface has sparked outrage.

Four Homewood-Flossmoor High School students posted photos of themselves in blackface. A video was also circulated of the teenagers going through a fast food drive-thru making disparaging remarks about African American girls.

When parents and students got wind of the posts, they responded with outrage.

“I know these kids, I know these parents,” said parent Nicole Brookens. “These are my daughter’s classmates. This is going to cause more tension to the already tension-riddled community.”

School administrators met with the students involved and their parents and released a statement saying, “Early Sunday, we were made aware through emails and phone calls of several social media posts made by students that were highly offensive and culturally insensitive. The administration immediately requested a meeting that afternoon and met with all of the families and students involved. Due to student confidentiality laws, we are unable to discuss individual students and actions taken. However, we can share that the social media postings that were seen and heard were not representative of the high expectations we have for all students who attend our school. Though this behavior occurred outside the school setting, this type of behavior is contrary to our expectations, is being addressed quickly and appropriately and will not be tolerated.

“It is important that our students and community clearly understand that these actions will not be condoned at Homewood-Flossmoor High School and we will continue to take the appropriate and necessary actions to ensure all of our students are respected, feel protected and safe.”

The school did not say how or if the students were punished. They did say they were addressing the issue, but many parents believe that is not enough.

In a joint statement, Homewood Mayor Rich Hofeld and Flossmoor Mayor Paul Braun said: “In light of the highly offensive incident that unfolded over the weekend, the Village of Homewood and the Village of Flossmoor have come together to show solidarity in our condemnation of this type of behavior. No matter the age or the action of the person, hurtful and offensive behavior is neither accepted nor condoned. As Mayors, we know Homewood and Flossmoor take pride in our diversity and inclusion of all people, and the actions of these individuals do not reflect the values we have worked to establish. Our diversity is a fundamental value that should be fully embraced, respected, and at the forefront of our community. Together, and along with other community partners, Homewood and Flossmoor will continue to reflect the true spirit and heart of our communities. We will be working collaboratively with our community partners to address this repugnant behavior, together.”

This article originally appeared on ABC7 News.

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