Students at Niles North High School in north suburban Skokie walked out of class Friday afternoon to protest what they believed was a lack of discipline for a student who posted a racist message on social media.
School officials said they are still investigating the incident; information that the student received a one-day suspension was inaccurate, they said.
Earlier Friday morning, students at the school participated in an organized walkout in the morning with the encouragement of school officials in honor of Stand Against Racism Day, a national event sponsored by the YWCA, School District 219 said in a statement.
Later in the afternoon, some students staged an additional, unannounced walkout, school officials said.
“We came together in unity to show that together, we can organize against inequity, racism and other forms of injustice,” the students said in a statement provided by District 219. “We the students have the power to elicit change. We are the future and we are committed to continue to work toward equity at Niles North.”
The second walkout of the day was related to an incident on social media earlier in the week.
School officials said a student had posted a photo of a BB gun on Snapchat with a racist comment. The school notified the Skokie Police Department, which investigated and found that the post “did not pose a direct threat to the school.”
A screenshot of the student’s Snapchat post was included in a story about the incident on patch.com. On the photo are the words: “If youre a n—– I pull the trigger”
“We want our students and families to know that we take this situation very seriously, as well as the concerns it is causing,” Niles North Principal Jim Edwards said. “The very purpose of this morning’s Stand Against Racism is to reinforce the message that Niles North is a school that welcomes everyone and that we will not tolerate bigotry toward others.”
Students posted video of their protest on Twitter. WARNING: Please note that this post includes profanity: