Blue Springs community angered over incidents involving racial s - KCTV5

Blue Springs community angered over incidents involving racial slurs

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Several Blue Springs South students say for years white students have labeled an area where black students socialize during passing periods as "Africa." Several Blue Springs South students say for years white students have labeled an area where black students socialize during passing periods as "Africa."
BLUE SPRINGS, MO (KCTV) -

Two high profile cases involving the use of racial slurs against a high school student and a black business owner are shedding light on racial tension in Blue Springs.

The two incidents sparked community reaction, which led to a public city meeting and a closed door news conference held by the school district.

Barber shop owner James Price and his wife had to scrape away threatening and insulting words spray painted on their windows.

Price and other community members say that crime and less blatant forms of racism need to be addressed in the community.

When Price arrived at his business, he found graffiti. 

"I had 'die n-word die' all over the front," said Price, who owns Turn-N-Headz Barber Salon. "Die is more of a threat on my life. Not knowing who did this, is my life in jeopardy?" 

Blue Springs police released surveillance video of a person of interest in the case.

Price soon learned a Blue Springs South student found someone wrote the same racial slur on one of her assignments the same day.

"It's sad that in 2017, we still have to deal with this kind of stuff. It's a harsh reality for me being a black male living in the suburbs," Price said.

The principal of Blue Springs South told reporters claims that the school is ignoring or failing to investigate racial issues are untrue.

"It's absolutely abhorrent to me that somebody would think that about our school," said Charles Belt. "We'll do everything we can to fix that, with today being an example here in front of you."

Several Blue Springs South students say for years white students have labeled an area where black students socialize during passing periods as "Africa."

"These little subtle things matter," Belt said. 

"Some people might see it as something little or a joke, but that's exactly what we are talking about when we say those little things have to stop," said student Isaiah Jackson. 

Jackson is the president of his school's Jags United Club that was created to promote diversity through education and awareness about different cultures.

He, other students and staff signed banners to show support for James after the vandalism.

Price says many community members have stopped by to say the same in person.

Police are asking the community for tips to catch the person who vandalized the business.

Due to student privacy laws, the principal says he can only say they devoted 90 hours into investigating the racial slur written on the student's paper and "disciplinary consequences were applied."

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