A group of middle schoolers in Royal Oak, Michigan, broke out in a “build the wall” chant inside their lunchroom on Wednesday — and now video of it is being shared on social media.
The clip of the kids echoing one of Donald Trump’s core campaign rallying cries the day after his victory has some parents of students in the school worried about their children’s safety.
“Because of the strong emotions and intensity of rhetoric that the posting of this incident to social media has elicited, we have had parents express concern regarding student safety,” Superintendent of schools Shawn Lewis-Lakin said in a statement Thursday.
On Tuesday, President-elect Donald Trump won the state of Michigan, earning him the state's 16 electoral votes. In Oakland County, the suburban area of northwest of the city of Detroit where Royal Oak lies, Trump lost to Hillary Clinton, taking 43% of the vote (289,127 votes) to Clinton’s 51% (342,976), according to an MLive.com report.
In his statement about the chant, Lewis-Lakin said that the school’s administration would address the incident with the student body again Thursday “to help them understand the impact of their words and actions on others in their school community.”
Read the Superintendent’s complete statement:
Yesterday, November 9, 2016, there was an incident during one of the lunches at Royal Oak Middle School that was captured on video and posted to social media. In the incident a small group of students engaged in a brief “build the wall” chant. School personnel in the cafeteria responded when this occurred.
We are committed to providing a safe, secure, and supportive learning environment for all students. We addressed this incident when it occurred. We are addressing it today. We are working with our students to help them understand the impact of their words and actions on others in their school community. Our school district and each building in it works every day to be a welcoming community for all, inclusive and caring, where all students know they are valued, safe and supported.
Because of the strong emotions and intensity of rhetoric that the posting of this incident to social media has elicited, we have had families express concern regarding student safety. Know that we work with our partners in law enforcement on responding to any and all threats that have been or will be made involving our students or schools.
In responding to this incident – indeed in responding to this election – we need to hear each other’s stories, not slogans, we need to work towards understanding, not scoring points, and we need to find a way to move forward that respects and values each and every member of our community. We will be working on this in school today. Please work on this with us.
Michael Hayes is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Mike Hayes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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