A number of students at Minneapolis' South High School on Monday walked out and left school after a school-hosted "town hall" meeting and a discussion about cultural awareness.
The Star Tribune reported that several hundred students staged the walkout after an hour and a half of programs that included drumming, dancing and discussion.
Students said the peaceful walkout was designed to be a unified demonstration for change, KSTP reported. Students have said they want more awareness of cultural and ethnic diversity, KSTP noted. Some students have advocated that multi-cultural awareness become part of the curriculum that students study at the school, KARE 11 reported.
Administrators say the students who walked out had accepted that their absences will not be excused, FOX 9 reported.
American Indian students have objected to the school restricting their ability to hold smudging ceremonies, which include burning sage, and drumming at the school, the Star Tribune reported. Both were allowed Monday.
The events, which included student speeches, came in the wake of a Feb. 14 brawl at the school that some students said was sparked by racial tension. After the melee, Somali students were among those who said they did not feel safe at the school.