The Superintendent of Milan Area Schools issued a statement denouncing racist remarks made by students in videos circulating social media.
Several videos have surfaced on Snapchat showing current Milan High School students using racial slurs and referring to slavery.
“Administrators at Milan have conducted a thorough review of the situation and determined that the incident represents an act of racial bias and animus that created harm to all of our students, especially students of color,” said Superintendent Bryan M. Girbach. “Hate and racial prejudice have no place in our school and our community.”
One video shows a teen in a parking lot referring to a vehicle that lost battery saying, “That B**** is deader than a n**** on a slave ship.”
“Our school and our district find the words used in this video to be deplorable and we strongly denounce the actions and words of these students,”
Another video, which was shared in a post on Facebook, shows Lincoln High and Milan High students sitting in a pickup truck repeatedly using racial slurs.
Read the school's full statement:
Over the last two days it was brought to the attention of our staff and administration that inappropriate racist comments using terms referring to slavery and derogatory terms for African Americans were posted on social media by Milan High School students. Administrators at Milan have conducted a thorough review of the situation and determined that the incident represents an act of racial bias and animus that created harm to all of our students, especially students of color. Hate and racial prejudice have no place in our school and our community. Our school and our district fmd the words used in this video to be deplorable and we strongly denounce the actions and words of these students.
The Milan Board of Education and administration take these issues seriously as we strive to ensure a welcoming, inclusive, and safe environment for all students, regardless of their race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or any other identity. This is an opportunity for us - the staff, students, and community of Milan Area Schools - to stand for respect and inclusion of all students.
Subsequent to the investigation, the social media posting has been removed. We recognize that harm has been done to students of color in Milanwho saw the post and that additional effort must be made to repair that damage. Milan, along with districts across the nation, uses a process known as restorative practices (or restorative justice), where in conjunction with discipline for infraction of school rules, we work with those who created the harm as well as those who were harmed to repair the damage Restorative practices are currently being implemented.
Milan Area Schools is committed to creating and sustaining a culturally proficient and inclusive learning environment where every member of the community is valued and respected. In addition to the above noted measures, our Diversity Team will continue to work on educating all students and staff regarding the ways that language and behavior can harm groups of people who have been historically marginalized and mistreated.
The district will continue working to ensure that our schools provide a safe and inviting environment void of these types of despicable words and actions. Our staff will work diligently to ensure that this is the case for all of our students.
Bryan M. Girbach Superintendent