FLOSSMOOR, Ill. — About 1,000 students at Homewood-Flossmoor High School walked out of class Tuesday to protest a video showing white students in blackface.
A video and photos of three white teens in blackface going through the drive-thru of a McDonald's was shared over the weekend. One of the teens was wearing school colors. The teens were seen in the video joking as a black employee handed them their food.
The student body at Homewood-Flossmoor is nearly 70% African American. During Tuesday's protest, students said they were outraged because they felt the students in the video were given special treatment, compared to black students at the school.
At times, the protesters forced the closures of streets around the intersection of Flossmoor Road and Kedzie Avenue.
The mayors of both Homewood and Flossmoor issued a joint statement calling the images “highly offensive.”
Some parents who knew the students in the video defended them and said they just didn’t know what blackface meant.
However, students who saw the video called it blatantly racist and said that in 2019, there can be no excuse.
Administrators have met with the students involved and their parents. Due to confidentiality laws, the district is not discussing what action has been taken with the boys involved.
In an email sent out Tuesday, the administration informed parents of their support about the walkout.
"Our administrators addressed all students via the school TV news channel this morning, sharing with them the importance of their voice, participation and plan to move forward as a school and community. We will be having a school-wide conversation with all students during English classes tomorrow, when the principal and superintendent will join in an interactive discussion with the student body."