White Station class president addresses post-election hostility - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

White Station class president addresses post-election hostility

White Station class president Leo Rodriguez addressing the school via the building's intercom. (Source: Twitter.com/WSHSScroll) White Station class president Leo Rodriguez addressing the school via the building's intercom. (Source: Twitter.com/WSHSScroll)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

A White Station High School student took to the school intercom to deliver a message of unity.

Senior class president Leo Rodriguez addressed White Station students on Wednesday following reports of students making threatening remarks to classmates.

Just one day after the election, Rachelle Butler said her daughter experienced racism for the first time. The teen said she and other students were harassed and publicly humiliated.

"She witnessed white students going up to black students, asking them whether or not they wanted to be house slaves or field slaves," Butler said. "Then they also went to the Hispanic students and asked if they wanted to go back to Mexico."

The threatening remarks are being investigated and are thought to be related to the recent presidential election, according to Shelby County Schools.

The incident was brought to the school's attention through a Facebook post.

"If they treat you like that, it's not acceptable," Butler said.

Rodriquez took a couple minutes out of the day to publicly address the remarks and the hostile feelings some students were expressing.

SCS released the following statement about the incident.

It's important for us to remind all of students, teachers and families that regardless of personal beliefs, we can all be supportive. Our goal is for our staff to be available to listen to the needs of our students and provide the necessary guidance and support. This is a time when students and parents may need to be reassured that, despite anything happening in our community or country, the education and well-being of students remain our top priorities. I encourage you to take a look at one of our students from White Station HS who offered a very powerful and impressive speech to his classmates this afternoon emphasizing the importance of unity. 

Even with the response, Butler hopes more will be done.

"If you don't punish them, then they think it's acceptable and they will do it again," Butler said. "It's not right."

It's unclear if the students have been punished.

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