Hoffman Estates High School Twitter Assignment

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.

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