An image of eight White teenage girls who captioned their photo “KKK” has stirred controversy at a high school in Chicago, reports the Chicago Tribune.
According to the outlet, in the Snapchat photo the girls—who attend Barrington High School—were donning white shirts and formed triangles above their heads; causing many people to believe that they were emulating the Ku Klux Klan.
On Monday, after the image circulated on social media, several individuals demanded that Barrington District 220 reprimand the girls in the photo. Days later, students from Barrington High School and other local schools in the area held a demonstration to express their outrage, writes the outlet.
A Barrington High School senior told the Chicago Tribune that students at the school are “very prejudiced.”
Following the incident, the school district’s superintendent Brian Harris released a statement claiming that the district “does not condone the actions of the students in the photo and that the matter is under investigation.” However, on Friday he told the Chicago Tribune that he wasn’t sure if the girls displayed any type of misconduct.
A text conversation surrounding the matter claims that “KKK” is the initials of one of the girls in the photo, writes the source.
The school’s principal, Stephen McWilliams, was outraged over the incident and told students to bring other offensive images that they discovered to his attention, writes the source. The girls in the photo have yet to publicly comment on the situation.
Sadly, signs of racism within high schools has become an ongoing issue. In January, Maryland area schools were hit with racist threats by a White supremacist group who reportedly circulated a petition titled “Kool Kids Klan.”
SOURCE: Chicago Tribune
‘KKK’ Twitter Threat Prompts Maryland Schools To Address Racism
Black Parents Protest Middle School Assignment On KKK
Barrington High School , Chicago , KKK , Ku Klux Klan , Racism
Thanks to the Gilder Lehrman foundation, Hoffman Estates High School U.S. History students had the opportunity to see the Broadway musical, Hamilton, on October 19th. Gilder Lehrman paired up with Hamilton and the Rockefeller Foundation for this unique program that was offered to Title One High Schools.
“Last Spring, in April, I ran across this opportunity on the Gilder Lehrman website and applied to participate, not thinking much of it. I came back [this Fall], and [Kevin] Mallon, head of the Social Studies Department, notified me that he got an email; it said that our application was chosen,” said William Helzer, U.S. History teacher.
Because Hamilton is on tour this 2017-2018 school year, the musical was scheduled to be performed in large American cities, including Chicago. HEHS teachers often use Gilder Lehrman primary resources for their classes.
After being contacted by the foundation, Helzer was informed that there were only 70 tickets available and that students who wished to participate must commit to making a project. This project encouraged kids to use their creativity to make a rap, poem, or video that would be their original work based on facts they had learned in class about Hamilton’s role in U.S. History. This project was based on Lin-Manuel’s structure of his musical, Hamilton, since the music in the play was rap based, as well.
“I enjoy rap and really liked doing this assignment. I got to put history into my own words, rather than focusing on the textbook’s words; this helped me understand the material better,” said Mykel Brewer, junior. “It took me only a day to finish the project and it was really fun because I’ve never done anything like this before.”
After the projects were submitted, there was a lottery to choose which 70 kids would be able to go. The students chosen were very excited about this unique opportunity. They experienced even more beyond seeing the musical.
First, they had a chance to talk to five stars of the musical prior to showtime. There was a question and answer session that allowed the audience to get to know the actors.
“Listening to the women speak [beforehand] about their life experiences was very interesting,” said Helzer. “When we saw them on the stage during the play, I felt like I had a connection with the stars and that they were not just some actresses in a musical.”
Next, the HEHS students and chaperones went for lunch. Gilder Lehrman gave them a taste of history by reserving a room in the Palmer House Hilton hotel, the oldest hotel in Chicago and considered the oldest continuously operating hotel in the USA.
After lunch, they went to the auditorium. They found out the seats they would be sitting in were front row, center stage. Tickets for these seats, at the time they went, are valued at $900. These seats allowed them to see everything from the details on the actors’ costumes, the intense lighting making the actors sweat, and all the actors’ facial expressions.
“My overall experience on the Hamilton field trip was an outstanding experience because it was my first time seeing a Broadway musical,” said Hafsa Amir, junior. ”King George III was the best character in the show because the way he walked in and came onto the stage was hilarious.”
There was an assignment attached to this field trip: students were asked to do a review of the musical after the trip.
“The whole [event] was great,” said Helzer. “In my 14 years of teaching, this was by far the best experience I have had. The talent on that stage was unbelievable.”
Principal Josh Schumacher along with teachers Kevin Mallon, Jason Stevens, Rob Schmidt, Dia Bell, Bill Helzer, and Dave Calisch attend the performance of Hamilton.