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Highland Park High School students walk out

Students walked out in response to a teacher using racial slurs on video.
Credit: KARE
About 150 Highland Park High School students walked out of school on Thursday.

ST PAUL, Minn. — About 150 Highland Park High School students walked out of school on Thursday. 

The move was meant to call on the St. Paul Public School district to strengthen support at Highland Park. The district said it supports the students in their efforts.

The walkout comes days after a Highland Park teacher submitted her resignation to the district following accusations that she used racial slurs towards students. The staff member could be heard on cellphone video using the n-word with a hard "E-R." She also uses a few expletives before.

Selah Jacoway, an 11th grader Highland Park High School, is one of the organizers of the protest.

“We will be covering the incident that recently happened at our middle school and also some of the racial and derogatory statements that have been said to high school students by Highland staff and other other students,” she said. 

“With this walk out we hope to accomplish awareness and knowledge about the word "n&$$er," the impact and strength it has when people of another race call African Americans it, as well as combat many of the (justifications) many white people try to use to justify using the word," Jacoway explained.

Earlier this month, St. Paul Public Schools Superintendent Joe Gothard responded to a viral video that contained "racist language" from a staff member towards a student.

In a written statement, Gothard said the Highland Park Middle School staff member is on administrative leave.

"No matter the situation, the racist and foul language used by a staff member in the video has no place in Saint Paul Public Schools." Gothard said. "The words and actions recorded in this video have caused harm to our Black students, their families and our entire school community. These actions go against Saint Paul Public Schools core values and its commitments."

KARE 11 talked to the parents of the students involved.

All of them said they had an issue with this staff member the entire school year.