Emotions high at Saline school board meeting during diversity discussion

Posted at 11:48 PM, Feb 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-12 10:49:26-05

SALINE, Mich. (WXYZ) — Emotions boiling over at a Saline school board meeting on Tuesday night. The district is under pressure to implement changes after several black football players were racially targeted on social media.

Karamba Kaba, a senior student at Saline High School, said he was called the N-word by his white teammates on the app SnapChat.

"I never thought in a million years I would be called the N-word," Kaba said. "It was my first time experiencing racial slurs towards me and slurring my name. It hurt my feelings and scarred me for life."

"I think there are quite a few people that are silent about what happened," said Junior Dru Campbell. "And, what we are doing and how we are trying to make a change here."

The white students who were involved in the chat were suspended, according to a press release from their attorney.

RELATED: Saline students suspended for alleged racist Snapchat posts sue school district

Other students who identify as LGBTQ+ said they were bullied and targets of hate on school grounds during the board meeting. They formed a group called, Society for Student Resistance. The students wore matching clad shirts to the meeting and had a list of demands.

The list of demands includes a way to formally make hate speech complaints, hiring a diverse workforce and mandatory diversity training for teachers, facult and staff. The meeting was held after video captured a man making racist comments toward another parent.

View list of student demands below:

Society for Student Resistance Press Release by WXYZ-TV Detroit on Scribd

Adrian Iraoloa who emigrated from Mexico in the 80s was shouted down when he spoke out at a diversity and acceptance meeting by a white parent.

"I remember when I went to his bedroom, to say good night, and he was crying because of the abuse that he was enduring in this school system," Iraola, who is Latino, said at Liberty School.

Suddenly, Iraola was shouted down in mid-sentence.

"Then why didn't you stay in Mexico?" Tom Burtell said.

The exchange echoed and sparked outrage across the country.

Action News attempted to get reaction from the school board president Elizabeth Pfannes, but she declined to comment.