Police looking into blackface incident at Moco high school

Photo of Walter Whitman high school. Courtesy of MCPS website.

Photo of Walter Whitman high school. Courtesy of MCPS website.

Local police are investigating racism among students, after two Montgomery County students were seen on social media dressed in black face and using the n-word in late April.

Two Walt Whitman High School freshmen posted a photo of themselves wearing blackface and using the n-word to describe it, which was posted to their Snapchat accounts and later shared on Twitter, according to officials.

Whitman High School Principal Robert W. Dodd, sent a letter to students and parents addressing the racism.

“I want to emphasize as strongly as possible that this type of behavior will not be tolerated at Walt Whitman,” Dod wrote in the letter, emphasizing that the students responsible will receive consequences.

Montgomery County police spokesman Capt. Tom Jordan said this was a “bias-related incident,” rather than a racist incident. The students’ actions were determined to not be criminal, Jordan said.

The Montgomery County Council discussed the issue, and Council President Nancy Navarro said the incident was “severely disturbing and insensitive,” according to The Washington Post.

Byron Johns, education chair of the Montgomery County branch of the NAACP, said this is “unfortunately more normalized” because of the racist, anti-semitic and anti-immigration climate the nation is currently in, according to The Washington Post.

Walt Whitman was ranked amongst the top 100 schools in the country, and has been recognized for its student academic achievement.

Montgomery County is ranked as the most diverse county in Maryland, according to Niche.com, however, high school students in the area have recently been in the news for racist incidents.

In February, students at Winston Churchill High School were reported to be giving out passes to other students, which gave them permission to use the n-word openly, according to The Washington Post.

Despite Montgomery County’s diversity, Walt Whitman is predominantly white, with only four percent of the student body being Black, according to Maryland’s Department of Education website.

That was not the first racist occurrence at Winston Churchill. In November of last year, a swastika was found on a desk at the high school, according to The Washington Post.

This is becoming a trend around the country in high schools. Sophomore students in Chicago posted video of themselves driving in their community while wearing blackface over the weekend, according to CBS News. This incident sparked outrage from other students, which prompted hundreds of students to walk out.

Students chanted“We want justice!” and “No place for blackface!” according to The Chicago Sun Times.

These irriley similar incidents are becoming more common around the country, among underage students. According to WUSA9, the two Walt Whitman students have been suspended from school for a week.