DeWitt school district confirms discrimination acts & takes action

DEWITT, Mich. (WLNS) – Following this week’s election results, one thing has been clear…Americans are divided over their feelings for president elect- Donald Trump and last night 6 News told you how that divide showed itself at DeWitt Junior High school.

On Thursday, we told you about a letter that went out to parents of students in DeWitt warning that racially motivated harassment would not be tolerated.

But in a letter sent to parents today, school officials say some students “locked arms” in a hallway to keep other students from passing and said they were “building a wall.”

In the letter John Deiter, the district’s Superintendent discussed what the school district plans to do as a result of this racial discrimination.

Deiter confirms students did in fact make comments involving minority groups and blocked students in the hallway from passing by locking arms.

He calls the actions reprehensible and unacceptable and the students involved have been disciplined.

The incident caused people in the school district to make a statement so today teachers and staff at DeWitt Junior High took action in the hallways and classrooms by wearing orange t-shirts.

Last year, DeWitt Junior High participated in “Unity Day” where everyone wore orange shirts to represent peace and anti-bullying.

And today, teachers and staff felt it was important to send a message of togetherness for the students experiencing racial discrimination.

“We all as a staff yesterday were at a loss, our hearts were saddened due to recent events in our building and we just really wanted to ban together and show our students how much we care for them to show our unity and that we support our unity efforts together,” said DeWitt Junior High School Health Teacher Heidi Bobeda.

“We want all of our students to feel accepted here, we want all of our students to feel safe, secure this is a positive environment for all of them and we hold that really dearly,” DeWitt Junior High School Principal Keith Cravotta stated.

“We want the students here to know that they are welcome regardless of what their race is, regardless of ethnicity or socio-economic status, we want them to feel welcome here,” DeWitt Junior High Math Teacher Kirk Moundros said.

In response to the recent incidents, the school district has been focusing on bringing the topics of tolerance, acceptance and respect into their classrooms.

In addition to that, DeWitt Junior High and the district will be creating focus groups to dig deeper into issues of racism.

We welcome thoughts and comments from our viewers. We ask that everyone keep their remarks civil and respectful. Postings that contain profanity, racist, or potentially libelous remarks will be deleted. We will delete any commercial postings, as well.

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