CHICAGO (CBS) — A play at Evergreen Park Community High School has been cancelled after five white classmates posed for a photo that spelled out a racial slur.
CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports that some parents are outraged, and calling for the students to be disciplined.
Laquetta Johnson’s daughter is a junior at the school. She says her daughter explained that the slur was aimed at the only black student who was cast as a slave in the play, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”
“They would taunt him daily during the production. And this particular day they decided to line up like this and spell that word out,” Johnson said.
Evergreen Park is a racially diverse school. Nearly half of the students are white and more than a third are black.
“They’re kids and they’re stupid,” Marlon Hayes said, who’s daughter is a senior at the school. “I don’t think that these children are racist, I just think they’re children who don’t know any better. Ignorance played more of a factor than anything else.”
Monday, in protest, some African-American students dressed in black and sent a statement to CBS 2 saying, “With the picture, [we] feel like it was completely disrespectful, and [we] think they knew what they were doing.”
Once the photo hit social media, administrators cancelled the play and called parents.
“We will be finalizing our investigation in the next few days and those involved will be disciplined accordingly, ” the school’s superintendent, Thomas O’Malley, said. “We are implementing several avenues to address awareness surrounding sensitivity for all of our students. As I previously mentioned, we have a very diverse and caring student body. There is no room in our school for disrespect towards any students. These types of actions will not be tolerated in Evergreen Park Community High School.”
The play was initially scheduled for this weekend.