RACINE — Black and Latino students say they've been harassed, dehumanized, and met with hate at Racine Lutheran High School. And now they're saying enough is enough.
"We are going to be here until this gets straightened out, and we're not going anywhere," said Forward Latino National President, Darryl Morin.
A call for action has been made at Racine Lutheran High School. Students are demanding that administrators acknowledge and address incidents that they feel have been targeted towards certain groups.
"A swastika was etched into a door there yesterday," said Morin.
"People call me African or say African sounds as I walk into a room," said senior, Lenya Cadd.
Students at Racine Lutheran say they've been dealing with incidents like these for years.
They allege that classmates have been seen wearing t-shirts with the words 'Trump's wall' on the front, and they say racial slurs were etched onto bathroom stalls just this past week.
But when they bring up their concerns, they feel those concerns fall on deaf ears.
"We have been telling the principal and the dean, but they've never really done anything about it," said senior, Serenity Ford.
"We reached out a hand to the school leadership, we tried to work with him collaboratively, only to learn that everything they told us was false," said Morin.
Which is why on Thursday, community leaders, students, and parents came together to put pressure on the administration to adhere to and implement their solutions to make the school more inclusive.
That includes creating a plan for greater diversity among staff and creating an anti-bias awareness program.
"We will do whatever is necessary to rid our community of these acts of discrimination toward our children," said NAACP Racine Chapter President, Dwight Mosby.
"They've been subjected to hate, discrimination, etc., not just by the students but sometimes by the faculty and administration as well," said Morin.
The Racine Lutheran High School Board of Directors released a statement Friday. It reads in full:
"Racism is not acceptable and individual acts of hate will not be tolerated at Racine Lutheran High School. Students who commit individual acts of hate will be held accountable according to our policies.
At Racine Lutheran High School, we believe, teach, and confess that each student is a unique child of God. We believe, teach, and confess that all are equally created by God. We believe, teach, and confess that all are equally accountable to God. We believe, teach, and confess that the sins of all are atoned for by Christ. As a school within the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, we stand on God’s Word which clearly rejects racism.
We are committed to ensuring that our school be a safe place for all our students. Our school community is part of the body of Christ. In the Apostle Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he wrote about being members of the body of Christ. In verse 26, Paul wrote that “if one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together” (1 Corinthians 12:26). We have members of the body of Christ here at Racine Lutheran High School who are suffering, and so, we are all suffering.
We recognize that our plans to curb this behavior have not proved to be effective. We are calling on outside sources to guide our staff and students to understand and prepare to make RLHS a safe place where God’s children can gather to learn more about their Heavenly Father as they prepare for their life’s work. This will be an ongoing plan to restore peace to RLHS. We know there is a lot of work to be done.
The Lord requires us “To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly” with our God (Micah 6:8). We will continue to strive to do this at Racine Lutheran High School."