DEWITT, Mich. (WLNS) — Controversy is brewing in a local school district as officials investigate accusations of racial discrimination between students.
All of this comes on the heels of the presidential election and is now getting attention on social media.
Corina Gonzalez told 6 News that Wednesday morning, her daughter, a 7th grade student at DeWitt Junior High School, was blocked from getting into her locker by another student.
“They told her no, that she needed to go back to Mexico. And that there’s a new president and they’re going to be building a wall. And that she wasn’t wanted here,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez says in the wake of a Trump victory, other minority students were also targeted.
Her Facebook posts about the incident have been getting lots of attention in the community.
“I hope they will acknowledge that for those kids who are victims, that they were racially profiled and they were targeted,” Gonzalez said.
6 News talked to the DeWitt Public Schools Superintendent John Dieter about this controversy.
He says stories that are circulating social media could be exaggerated.
Deiter says he only knows of one incident, when a teacher saw middle school students lying down in a hallway.
“And they said they were forming a wall. And she said guys, that’s not appropriate, you need to move on,” Dieter said.
He says they didn’t block the hallway and no students were threatened.
However, a letter went out to parents, letting them know an incident related to the presidential election had occurred.
“The message that we want to get out to parents, is that we’re taking it very seriously,” Dieter said.
The superintendent says schools are not immune from the stress of a presidential election, and they’re now trying to help unite students.
“That’s something we want to latch onto immediately and make sure the children understand that message. We need to do everything we can do make everyone feel safe, welcomed, and valued in our schools,” Dieter said.
The DeWitt School District is nearly 90 percent white.
Gonzalez says many people just don’t understand what minorities are going through at this point in history.
“You know, it’s a hard and difficult topic. But it needs to be discussed. So let’s talk about it now. Let’s work as a community together to see what we can do,” Gonzalez said.
The DeWitt School District wants parents and students to know that they want to hear about any type of discrimination so it can be investigated.