Less than a day after an emotional meeting about alleged racism on a Ladue school bus, tensions ran high again at Ladue Horton Watkins High School.
What was planned as a small peaceful protest of just parents turned into something much bigger.
First, a dozen students came out with Black Lives Matter signs, and then, about 100 students marching, angry, and wanting change.
Parent Lynette Ursery, who organized the protest, said, “It tells me they stand with us, we’re not alone, they feel this shouldn’t be happening, they don’t agree with it, they don’t condone it, it’s not ok. A lot were chanting this is what a family looks like, this is what a community looks like, it tells me they don’t stand for it.”
It all started last Thursday, when a student allegedly burned another student with a hot glue gun.
The student’s mother posted about it on Facebook, and the photos of her son’s burned arm went viral. She organized a peaceful protest outside the school at noon Wednesday to call attention to what happened last week, as well as highlighting other recent racially motivated incidents at the high school.
During the protest, about 100 students marched down Conway to the district’s Central Office building. They grilled administrators, asking why the perpetrators didn’t face harsher punishments and said they felt disenfranchised and unwelcome in their own school district.
Ladue Superintendent Donna Jahnke said, “I think there’s a lot of emotion since the election regardless of your political views. And certainly that’s fueled the fire. When we had incident on the bus last week it was a conduit for all that energy and emotion. I don’t want to mitigate the situation, because we have an issue and we’re going to deal with the issue.”
“It's hard to go through things like this,” Walker told the school board Tuesday night. “I'm a very outspoken person and I will not be mistreated and I will not let my friends or anybody else be mistreated - white, black, anybody.”
Some parents were upset that the students involved in the incident are already back in school, which Ladue confirms, although it won’t comment on the specifics of their punishment.
One parent argued that the school board should have more thoroughly investigated what might have led up to the incident on the bus.
The superintendent says she plans to put together a tangible strategy for moving forward.
She also mentioned that there’s a lot of misinformation swirling about the glue gun incident. She believes it was not racially motivated. Facts about the case will be posted on the school district’s website sometime this evening.