PLATTE COUNTY, MO (KCTV) -- Some Platte County parents say enough is enough and are calling on the school district to take a hard look at its policies, which they say don't go far enough to discourage hate speech and racism.
It all started with an email that was sent on Friday from a middle school student at Barry School to all faculty and students in the district. In it was a link to a Google Docs file anyone could edit.
By Friday afternoon, the document had some appalling and vile language.
When Nina Matthews read screenshots of what her 15-year-old daughter got in her school-issued email, she called the school demanding action.
“You start with denouncing that racial attacks, hate crimes, racial crimes are not welcome in your school district,” she said.
The remarks appear to be copied and pasted from a white supremacist website that sells racist apparel.
The content of the message is so disgraceful that KCTV5 News has chosen not to share any of it.
Matthews doesn’t understand how the website was accessed on district servers without being flagged and blocked by the system.
“It’s not set up to catch the n-word apparently,” she said.
On Friday afternoon, the district sent out a message to parents saying several inappropriate comments and images were entered into a Google document by several students from various schools.
“They need to call it what it is,” Matthews said. “It was racial slurs. It was racial epithets. It was racial violence. It was bullying. It was so much more than just inappropriate comments.”
Matthews said the district has a history of letting racism slide by without consequences.
Several parents and students shared their claims on her Facebook post about Friday’s incident. Matthews showed KCTV5 News a screenshot of a district message she said was sent to parents last year when nooses were found in a locker room at Platte County High School. In that message, the district determined that didn’t target a specific group.
“They’re not honoring diversity and they need to do a better job at that,” Matthews said.
Superintendent Michael Reik sent KCTV5 News a statement that said, in part, “We have been investigating this complicated matter. We will be meeting tomorrow morning to process our findings and will follow with more specific communication for our community. “
He also sent a longer email to Matthews. “We have continued to investigate and have found more information, including the identity of the student who shared the racist and hateful text,” he said.
Matthews wants him to say that to the entire district and make it clear racist behavior will not be tolerated.
“When you continue to not call it what it is, you don’t acknowledge that the problem exists,” she said. “Now, we have a pattern of this type of problem not being acknowledged by the school district.”
The superintendent said any student that violates board policy will be disciplined accordingly.