On the 10th day of Black History Month, a couple of Black elementary students took matters into their own hands (literally) and forced their white peers to declare “Black Lives Matter” or otherwise suffer physical consequences. According to Springfield News-Sun, several students were punched, dragged and chased down.
The police were called to the Kenwood Elementary School about an incident that happened last week. The principal alleged a group of Black students gathered some white students on the playground and forced them to say the words “Black Lives Matter” against their will while recording them. The ones who refused to participate were assaulted as punishment.
The parents didn’t find out why their children came home with sulking faces until the Monday morning after the incident. School officials said they waited to report the incident until over the weekend because they conducting their own interviews with the students involved.
For two parents whose son was wound up in the chaos, they were more furious at the school’s delayed response than anything else, per WHIOTV 7.
“I’m more upset about the assault part of it, of the children being forced down on the ground by other children. Not so much of making them say BLM because you know all lives do matter. The school staff should have recognized the behavior and the problem before it got that far, “ said the student’s father, Ryan Springer.
There’s got to be a better way to live up to the school’s “Respectful, Responsible and Safe” motto than failing to de-escalate a physical altercation and then procrastinating alerting the parents. Due to the pending investigation into potential menacing and assault charges for the students responsible, the school declined to comment on the matter to the local news. However, the school district released a statement about the plan moving forward.
Read more from WHIOTV 7 News:
“The Springfield City School District is committed to providing our students with a safe learning environment, where they look forward to attending every day. The District is aware of a situation that occurred at Kenwood Elementary. We are working closely with the Springfield Police Division on this matter to ensure that we maintain that safe environment. Because this is now a police matter, no additional information is available at this time,” a spokesperson said.
Springfield police told News Center 7 they are investigating whether the incident is a hate crime and working with prosecutors to review any possible formal charges.
This fiasco is likened to that “Opposite Day” incident where a few Black middle school students in Florida were arrested for jumping their white peers on campus grounds screaming “Brown power!”
There is truly no reason for Black kids to feel as though violence is a useful tool to achieve allyship or some sort of reparations. Situations like these only feed into the narrative that supporting Black Lives Matter (whether the organization or the movement) promotes violence.