Platte County schools respond to third potential racist incident in matter of months

Data pix.

PLATTE CITY, Mo. -- Platte County R-3 Schools are investigating a potentially racist incident. A staff member at Platte County High School found a noose made of shoestring, hanging in a bathroom on Thursday.

"Shock. Disappointment," said parent Syquis Phillips.

That's how many Platte County parents are feeling after getting an email from the school district describing the discovery of a noose in a boys bathroom.

"It's kind of like getting old. Something should kind of be resolved by now," Phillips said.

That's because this is at least the third such incident in a matter of months. Another noose was found inside a Platte County school at the end of last school year, and it was just last month FOX4 told you about a racist and hate-filled Google doc that was shared district-wide.

"I know it's not all the way in school's hands. The schools can't really do everything. It's more of a matter we need to face at home," said Phillips.

In a statement, the district said in part, "This causes us to again emphasize that our district does not tolerate acts of racism, hate speech, or inappropriate, disruptive behavior."

But Phillips and many other students and parents feel like much more needs to be done.

"I'm not exactly sure where they could start with that but I do agree that's something we should do more of, more into communicating and trying to understand and accept each other's differences," Phillips said.

And she just hopes all families will use this as a teachable moment about how these kinds of actions affect others.

"It does take a pretty big impact on how you feel about yourself and how you feel safe in your community and in your schools," Phillips said.

The district's full statement is below:

"At about 11am today, a PCHS staff member reported a noose made from a shoestring was found hanging in the boys restroom at the north end of the high school. PCHS administration immediately began an investigation, and at this time, has reviewed video surveillance outside of the restroom and has spoken with students to further gather information.

The imagery of a noose has significant impact. This incident, combined with the recent Google Document containing racist and hateful speech shared throughout our District, causes us to again emphasize that our District does not tolerate acts of racism, hate speech, or inappropriate, disruptive behavior. We will follow our Board of Education policies to hold students accountable for their actions.

If you have any information that would assist administration in our investigation, please contact PCHS at 816-858-2822.

We continue to remind parents, staff, and students that school safety is the responsibility of the entire school community. Please follow the principle of "See Something, Say Something." If anyone (student, parent, staff member, community member) sees or hears anything of concern, please contact the District office at (816) 858-5420 so that those concerns can be investigated. You and your child can also easily report tips on bullying, harassment, or any safety issue you're concerned about through our online SafeSchools Alert system.

We appreciate your partnership in maintaining a safe and caring environment for our learners. We will update you once our investigation is complete."

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