Mount Greenwood

Chicago's Marist High School Investigating Allegations of Racist Protest

Officials at a Catholic high school in Chicago said they are investigating allegations that a group of students took part in what some Latino students viewed as a racist protest during the school's homecoming dance.

The incident took place Saturday night at Marist High School in the city's Mount Greenwood neighborhood on the far Southwest Side after the school's football team played a game, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Elizabeth Pacheco and Maia Trevino, both 16-year-old juniors of Mexican descent, said that when a DJ played a Spanish-language version of Billy Ray Cyrus' hit song “Achy Breaky Heart,” a group of students kneeled in apparent protest, with some of them booing and disrupting a line dance. The girls also said they heard a classmate make what they believed was a racist comment.

“If you love our food, ethnic fashion, and energy so much… why do you resent us,” Pacheco asked in the caption of an Instagram video showing the incident. “How would you like it if we kneeled to your country music?”

In a statement, Marist spokeswoman Kristine Kavanaugh said school officials were “disheartened" by the incident.

“We, as a school, promote cultural diversity and are providing professional development on cultural competency for staff and students. Marist High School is fully investigating the events and will address them as appropriate," she said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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