O’ FALLON, Mo. (KTVI) — A “Scrabble” message spelling out a racial slur by teachers at a Missouri private school has sparked controversy.
What started out as a game of human Scrabble turned into much more. The picture featured Christian School District employees in O’Fallon, Missouri holding signs that spell out an abbreviated word that has racial connotations and is considered a racial slur.
The image was posted to social media over the weekend shocking many students and parents.
“They say they did not mean to offend anyone, but they are too old not to know what they are talking about,” student Ray Horry said.
Now, students and parents want answers.
“I feel like we are going through a similar cycle that we had at the beginning of the year,” student Destiny Harding said. “We had an email sent out to us when we had a situation in the beginning of the year and then we just got another email talking about how they failed us again.”
Christian School District released this statement:
Christian School District desires to be a place where all people encounter the unconditional love of God through Jesus Christ. Part of this endeavor is to see an end to division between races through the unity offered by Christ. Over the weekend pictures were posted to a personal page on social media featuring Christian School District employees. One of these pictures included an abbreviated word that has racial connotations. As soon as this was brought to the attention of the individual who posted it, the picture was removed. Christian School District has been investigating and addressing the incident since it was brought to our attention. Appropriate disciplinary action will occur after the investigation is complete. We are spending time listening to those impacted, providing support to help repair relationships, and identifying necessary steps in moving forward together. We recognize that this ill-informed action caused hurt and offense to many students and families in our school and in the wider community. We offer no excuse as to why this word was used. In a statement to families last night, we apologized for the incident and sought their forgiveness. We also ask that of anyone who has been impacted by this picture. We are working hard as a district to educate our faculty through specific professional development around diversity, and the creation of a Oneness Committee to give a voice to all students, staff, and parents at Christian School District. This incident highlights that more is needed to be done. We are committed to doing more for the good of the district and the glory of God.Christian School District
Now the St. Louis County NAACP is calling for a thorough and complete investigation.
Leaders are calling this unacceptable behavior that will not be tolerated by anyone no matter their status.
“Like everything else that we’re seeing in America, there are no consequences for people’s actions,” Pastor Raymond Horry of the St. Louis County NAACP said. “This has come to be demoralizing and then we get these students in the school and there is no representation of them, no one in the yearbook of authority that look like my children.”
The district apologized to the community for the hurtful and offensive action. It’s unclear at this time if the teachers involved will face any disciplinary actions.
“The issues continue on what and happen Friday is not a sickness, it is a symptom of the sickness that exists within the Christian School District,” student John Wissmiller said. “They have perpetuated racism, they empowered racists, and it continues on. And it’s very disappointing.”