After offensive skit, meeting between Barrington High, Kenwood Academy planned

  • Barrington Area Unit School District 220 officials are planning a gathering with those at Kenwood Academy after Barrington High students performed a skit at a state convention last week deemed offensive.

    Barrington Area Unit School District 220 officials are planning a gathering with those at Kenwood Academy after Barrington High students performed a skit at a state convention last week deemed offensive. Daily Herald File Photo

 
 

Barrington Area Unit School District 220 officials hope some good can come from the controversy surrounding a skit Barrington High School students performed at state convention last week, starting with a gathering between the students and their counterparts from a South Side school.

Barrington 220 Superintendent Brian Harris said he expects students and teachers from Barrington High and Kenwood Academy will meet and have a discussion about what happened last weekend at the Illinois Junior Classical League State Convention in Itasca.

"I think the staff and students are going to learn a life lesson from this," Harris said Tuesday night at a board of education meeting. "I think it's an opportunity not only for us as a school community to better understand the challenge that our society deals with today and learn from the past, and hopefully moving forward learn from these situations and become better citizens as such."

Kenwood students and their parents said they were deeply offended after two Barrington students performed a skit intended to depict an ancient Greek or Roman slave auction at the start of the conference Friday. Barrington officials say the performance was a misguided attempt at humor and their representatives apologized repeatedly for it during the weekend conference.

Barrington High Principal Steve McWilliams said the idea to bring the students together was proposed by Kenwood Academy Principal Gregory L. Jones when they spoke on the phone earlier this week.

Kenwood Academy referred questions Wednesday to the Chicago Public Schools office of communication, which did not return calls for comment.

McWilliams said the two sides would try to connect in the coming weeks.

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"It's a little bit of a fresh situation right now," McWilliams said. "The hope is we can reconnect toward the end of the school year in to next year."

The weekend convention for students studying Latin was intended to evoke Roman times, but the wardrobe of the Barrington High students in the skit -- including a boy acting as a slave -- left that historical context unclear, according to video footage of the performance.

Harris said he is looking forward to moving forward and building a new relationship with Kenwood Academy.

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