Michigan Middle School Students Chant ‘Build the Wall’ in Viral Video

Nov 10, 2016
11:15 AM

On Wednesday, Dee Perez-Scott posted the following video of Facebook, along with the following status update: “This happened today at Royal Oak Middle School in Royal Oak, Michigan. It is so sad. Latino children were crying. The taunts, the ‘Build that Wall; with such bullying power and hate from children to children. Just Horrifying!”

After the video went viral (over 1.2 milliojn views and counting), Royal Oak School Superintendent Shawn Lewis-Lakin issued the following statement about the incident:

Yesterday, November 9, 2016, there was an incident during one of the lunches at Royal Oak Middle School that was captured on video and posted to social media. In the incident a small group of students engaged in a brief “build the wall” chant. School personnel in the cafeteria responded when this occurred.

We are committed to providing a safe, secure, and supportive learning environment for all students. We addressed this incident when it occurred. We are addressing it today. We are working with our students to help them understand the impact of their words and actions on others in their school community. Our school district and each building in it works every day to be a welcoming community for all, inclusive and caring, where all students know they are valued, safe and supported.

Because of the strong emotions and intensity of rhetoric that the posting of this incident to social media has elicited, we have had families express concern regarding student safety. Know that we work with our partners in law enforcement on responding to any and all threats that have been or will be made involving our students or schools.

In responding to this incident – indeed in responding to this election – we need to hear each other’s stories, not slogans, we need to work towards understanding, not scoring points, and we need to find a way to move forward that respects and values each and every member of our community. We will be working on this in school today. Please work on this with us.

Shawn Lewis-Lakin, Superintendent of Schools
Royal Oak Schools: A Community of Excellence