Threat forces cancellation of after-school activites at Washburn High

10:18 AM, Jan 18, 2013   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS - Washburn High School cancelled all after-school activities Thursday after someone allegedly threatened the school over social media.

A school spokesperson told KARE 11 the apparent threat was related to a racially charged incident that happened last week in the school hallways.

Stan Alleyne, district spokesperson said the threat was made Thursday afternoon so school officials did not have time to investigate it. He said that is why they decided to cancel activities as a precautionary measure.

This stems from an incident last Friday when students allegedly hung a dark-skinned baby doll in a school stairwell.

"It was a spur of the moment, they didn't really think about the race of the child," said Washburn High School Student Tobias Knight.

Knight is friends with the students involved and saw the doll hanging in the hallway. He said it was up for less than a minute, but long enough for people to snap pictures and take video of it. Those images found their way on to social media.

"I'm African-American. If I don't see this as offensive and I don't see how others see this as offensive," said Knight.

Yet others do find it offensive, including parents and the school which has disciplined four students involved.

Ralph Crowder's son is a sophomore at the school. He wanted to know why school officials waited until now to tell parents. That's why he showed up to the school Thursday afternoon hoping for answers, but left with more questions.

"I don't think there's enough discussion that is happening in a facilitative, construction kind of environment for all kids to be included and learn from this," said Crowder.

School officials said they are taking the situation seriously.

"We think it's serious and we immediately took some action," said Alleyne.

He added they did not tell parents right away because they did not have all the facts.

"We wanted to complete the investigation of the incident, discipline the students, and then communicate all the facts," he said.

Meanwhile, a number of students told KARE 11 they fear this incident will paint the wrong picture of their beloved school which they say is filled with diversity.

"It's four kids that did one stupid act in one day of school that doesn't make up what the view of the school should be," said Knight.

(Copyright 2013 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. )

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