Huntley High School offers support to students after racist pamphlet
Huntley High School is offering support for students and families troubled by a racist pamphlet distributed in school last week.
A student is facing disciplinary action after circulating a pamphlet Friday that contained "deplorable and racist content," Principal Scott Rowe said in a message to families. The materials were likely downloaded from the internet, administrators said, and were passed around both at school and online.
After students informed them of the pamphlet, administrators identified the student responsible and quickly addressed the situation, said Dan Armstrong, director of communications and public engagement for Huntley Community School District 158.
"The pamphlet contains some of the worst and most vile racist matter most of us have ever seen," he said. "It is sickening and does not represent our student body or our community."
Administrators over the weekend have been working to create a response plan for addressing any issues that exist in the school's culture, Armstrong said. Students and families are encouraged to contact school counselors for support, or administrators for more general questions and concerns, he said. Counselors will also be meeting one-on-one or in small groups with students strongly affected by the racist materials.
"It is unfortunate that these types of hurtful and ignorant messages can still be found anywhere in our society, and it is a shock to the system to see them appear here in our own school," Rowe said. "But as much as we want to avert our eyes when we see things like this, we cannot do so. We must call them out for what they are -- offensive and unacceptable."
Armstrong said Sunday the district cannot comment on matters of student discipline and would not disclose what, if any, action had been taken against the student found responsible. Huntley police are working with the school district to investigate, he said.
"These types of messages cause real pain and harm. They are unacceptable here," Rowe said. "It is a reminder to us that we must not forget our past, and that we must continue to work every day to fight the history of racism that continues to stain our society.
"Let us all take this moment as an opportunity to come together and define who we are as a school and society -- a warm, welcoming community where everyone is valued," he continued.