Parents frustrated with Lutheran Racine high school leadership after ‘#GeorgeFloydChallenge’ photo surface


RACINE, Wis. (CBS 58) – A photo circulating on social media shows a student at Racine Lutheran High School shedding light on the death of George Floyd. The image has sparked further concern and frustration among high school parents who say the administration has done little to address the race-related issues that came to light in October.

In the photo, someone identified as a student rests their knee on another person’s neck. The caption reads “#GeorgeFloydChallenge”, a reference to how Floyd died. The photo was shared among students on social media and seen by parents.

“Like most of the students who were the first to see it, I was appalled that they were taking this tragedy lightly,” Eloy Contreras, parent of a high school student, told CBS 58 during a telephone interview.

The image surfaced nearly a month after a photo of students wearing T-shirts with the phrase “Trump’s Wall” on them raised concerns among students and parents of color who branded the shirts offensive.

Then other disturbing images emerged, including one where the n word and a swastika were written on a bathroom cubicle at the school. On top of that, a text conversation surfaced showing a conversation between a high school staff member – who is also a Mount Pleasant Police Officer – and another student. The conversation shows the staff member insinuating retaliation in his capacity as an officer against a student who raised his concerns about race to the school.

Mount Pleasant Police said last month they were aware of the allegation and were investigating the matter. Mount Pleasant Police Chief Matthew Soens told CBS 58 in an email on Wednesday that the investigation into the allegation was ongoing.

“As a parent we are angry, we are fed up, we are frustrated,” Contreras said. He and other parents said the school did not respond to calls to resolve issues.

“Listen to what the needs are, meet them and stand up for the interests of the students,” Contreras said. “Something that I think as a school and as an institution of a school that should be your priority is standing up for students and parents.”

Racine Lutheran principal David Burgess emailed parents saying the student involved in the most recent photo has been sanctioned. The school also held assemblies for students and parents on recent concerns.

But Contreras said her child who attends school said the Assemblies have only scratched the surface and not done enough to address what they say are deep-rooted issues concerning the race at the ‘school.

“I don’t think it goes far enough to help address the racial prejudice that our students of color encounter all the time,” Contreras said.

Groups like Forward Latino engaged with the school administration last month to implement best practices and multicultural outreach programs. But Forward Latino said they haven’t seen enough progress.

“Unfortunately, we haven’t seen them take meaningful action to address what we know to be a deep underlying problem,” Forward Latino chairman Darryl Morin told CBS 58.

Forward Latino reached out to the Southern Wisconsin District of Missouri Synod, which oversees the school, to ask a representative to contact them to implement the best practice plan they and other groups showcased in the month. latest.

Parents, students and groups like Forward Latino say they plan to continue lobbying the school until their concerns are resolved.

“Things have to change and everyone has to be aware, we are not going anywhere, we will be here to protect these children,” said Morin.

CBS 58 has contacted Lutheran Racine High School and the Southern District of Wisconsin Synod of Missouri for comment, but has not received a response.

Contreras added that students at the school responded to the most recent photo by placing a sign around the school that read: “George Floyd is not a #trend”.

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