A number of racist incidents has sparked a movement to bring about major changes in the Eastern Carver County school district — including the removal of Chaska High School's principal.
Last weekend, some concerned local parents launched a petition to address "racist incidents and systemic inequities" in the district. The changes they're calling for include increased transparency, programs promoting inclusiveness, a restructuring of "all equity leadership and advisory groups," and zero tolerance towards toward racism.
The petition also demands the district "change Chaska High School leadership," saying that "three of four racist incidents in the past six months" have happened at that school.
The leadership in question, Principal Jim Bach, was in the news last month after a controversy in which students at his school were not allowed to display some posters for Black History Month.
Much of the trouble has been between students, however; according to FOX 9, one of the racist incidents involved white students sharing a map on social media "showing the faces of 25 black students superimposed on Google Maps with the locator labeled 'Negro Hill.'”
At a public school board meeting on Monday, "dozens of parents" told board members that their children have faced discrimination and bullying, the station says.
KARE 11 reports that in one incident last year, the "N-word" was written on a student's gym shirt, while one parent reported her six-year-old child having been punched in the face.
At that same "packed" meeting, the Star Tribune notes, school Superintendent Clint Christopher apologized for the way the district handled the incidents, saying "I didn’t meet my standards" and promising to "do better."
The paper says school officials have now promised to "form an equity advisory council, increase staff diversity and hire an equity coordinator," though whether they're considering removing Chaska High School's principal is not clear.