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Students walk at Hopkins High; racial incident to be investigated by 3rd party

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About 150 students walked out of Hopkins High School Friday, the Star Tribune reports, citing inequality for minority students and a racial incident in February.

Minnesota Public Radio is reporting that an outside party has been called in to investigate how the school has handled that incident and a subsequent confrontation with with black students that involved the police.

According to MPR's original take on the story, on February 13, members of the school's ski team dressed up for what team members called "Rapper Day," but that black students claim was called "Ghetto Spirit Day."

Two African American students, according to MPR, were charged with a misdemeanor and suspended after a confrontation with school administrators and police over posting fliers that protested the ski team's actions.

And Friday, according to the Star Tribune, students took their complaints outside about the school's racial climate and handling of the incident.

Back in February, the black students complained to school administrators about how the white students were dressed, with one telling MPR, "They dressed up like gangsters basically. There were sagging chinchilla coats with the chains, joint in the ear just mocking our culture. Really how we reacted, we felt it was modern day 'blackfacing.'"

MPR quotes another student: "I thought it was just going to be fun with my friends and I guess some people just thought it was a really big deal, and I think it got a little bit out of proportion."

According to the Minnetonka school's web site, about 22 percent of the school's 1,800 students is black.

As the Strib reports, there have been two other student walkouts over race this year, at South and Washburn, both in Minneapolis.

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