A central Minnesota school district is doing some soul-searching this spring after reports that students of color have been targets of racist bullying.
A parent who says her child was subjected to hateful social media messages aired her frustration in a video that’s been viewed thousands of times on social media. It’s led to calls for a change of culture in the district — and in the wider community.
Andrea Robinson said she’s grown accustomed to dealing with biased and even outright racist behavior toward her Black children in the Rocori public schools.
Robinson said they’ve been called a racial epithet by other students, and have been singled out unfairly for discipline when they lashed out in response.
Then last fall, Robinson learned that her 15-year-old daughter was the subject of bullying on social media. The disturbing messages in a Snapchat group that she said was created about her daughter mention getting ropes and hanging Black men from trees.
Even worse, she said, is that one of the teens who posted the racist messages was later chosen to receive a Rocori Proud award, which recognizes students whose actions reflect the district’s values.
Robinson recorded an emotional video voicing her frustrations and posted it to Facebook.
“I’ve always told my kids to take the high road,” she said in the video. “Kids, I’m sorry. Essentially what I’ve done is silenced you. So today, I’m stepping out against this. I’m not going to be silenced.”
Robinson’s video revived a heated and sometimes painful conversation about race in this rural district of roughly 2,000 students, who come from the Stearns County towns of Rockville, Cold Spring and Richmond. It has raised questions about the role schools should play in providing a safe and welcoming atmosphere for all students, in school and online.
Read the complete article at: MPR News