New allegations of racism at Royal Oak Middle School

Michigan ACLU calls for changes
Posted at 11:26 PM, Nov 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-17 23:27:49-05

Video of Royal Oak Middle School students chanting "build the wall" the day after the election sparked nationwide outrage.

But it turns out it was just one example of an alleged racially hostile education environment, according to the Michigan chapter of the ACLU.

The civil liberties organization sent a letter to superintendent of Royal Oak schools that describes other incidents of racism that came to light at a meeting last weekend with students and parents.

The ACLU claims racial slurs have been directed at African American, Latino, and Asian students.

The letter also claimed an African American student was directed by a teacher to demonstrate for the class "how slaves danced for their masters."

Royal Oak Schools Superintendent Shawn Lewsi-Lakin said an investigation launched over the weekend has determined the dancing incident did not happen as described in the letter.

The district has pledged to work with the ACLU to create a more inclusive education environment.

"The steps we take moving forward are not going to be quick. They're not going to be easy. They're going to be systematic," said Lewis-Lakin.

The video was recorded by Alicia Ramon's 12-year-old daughter. The family said they have faced a backlash from students and parents.

"It hasn't been comfortable for any of us, especially for our student," said Ramon.

Ramon said discrimination at Royal Oak Middle has been a concern since the end of the last school year, when a school telecast included "The Mexican Joke of the Day."

Lewis-Lakin said an apology was made and a policy for reviewing the student  telecast was put in place.