Students walk out from Lake Oswego Junior High over racist note - KPTV - FOX 12

Students walk out from Lake Oswego Junior High over racist note

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Students from Lake Oswego Junior High School staged a walkout Monday morning to promote racial equality after a recent racist incident at the school.

Students left classrooms around 9 a.m. to sit on the grass at the school, with some holding signs. Extra adults were placed on campus to deal with the walkout.

The protest stemmed from an incident at the high school more than a week ago when three white students handed a post-it note to an African American student that had the N-word written on it, with the word "dog" written beneath.

The mother of the student who received the note, Jennifer Cook, said she takes it seriously and that it was not an isolated incident.

“I don't think there's ever a joking around with the N-word, like I don't think that's ever an excuse to use it. I certainly would never allow him to call them friends,” Cook told FOX 12 last week.

Some parents wondered if the incident was just kids joking around, even if they were doing so in a stupid manner.

“No question it was racist wording, but that doesn't mean the kids who passed it were, in fact, racist,” parent Jeremy Child said.

Students weighed in on the situation as well.

“I believe that in their minds they were joking around, but some things you can say can be a joke. When somebody laughs at it, it's a joke, when somebody is hurt, it's rude,” eighth-grader Ajailia McClure said.

“On a daily basis, I tend to hear racial slurs from the students, and they seem to think it's really funny and I can't really do anything because it happens from so many angles,” eighth-grader Dakota Webb added. “I can't walk up to every single person I hear say it and say, like, ‘Stop!’ They think it's funny or laugh in my face. It hurts, it just hurts.”

Precious Lott, McClure’s mother, said that she would not accept this behavior from her student.

“In this particular situation, their punishment would have been steeper than just a simple in school suspension,” Lott said.

However, some parents think the situation has been blown out of proportion.

“We don't necessarily support the school enabling kids to walk out of school,” Child told FOX 12. “This is an issue I feel is best handled at home with families.”

In response to the incident, Lake Oswego School District officials issued a statement saying, in part, "LOSD does not tolerate hate speech, bullying, harassment, or any other type of behavior that makes students and parents feel unwelcome in our schools."

Last November, teachers at Lake Oswego High School found anti-Semitic comments were found on a student-run Facebook page and racist graffiti was found in a school bathroom.

The district held a news conference to answer questions about the protest and the issued that caused it Monday at 1 p.m.

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