Students at Homewood-Flossmoor High School held a walkout Tuesday morning after social media posts surfaced over the weekend showing a group of students in blackface.
The video and photos posted online showed a group of students screaming at the camera and using profanities while wearing blackface.
Homewood-Flossmoor High School said the school was made aware of the posts early Sunday, calling them “highly offensive and culturally insensitive.”
“The administration immediately requested a meeting that afternoon and met with all of the families and students involved. Due to student confidentiality laws, we are unable to discuss individual students and actions taken,” the school wrote in a letter to parents.
The posts prompted a series of social media reactions from current and former students.
"The history and effects of black face are well known. To see students in our communities taking part in this activity and disrespecting the black student population makes me wonder if HF truly cares about supporting a safe space for students of color,” one person wrote.
The school said the postings “were not representative of the high expectations we have for all students who attend our school.”
“Though this behavior occurred outside the school setting, this type of behavior is contrary to our expectations, is being addressed quickly and appropriately and will not be tolerated,” their letter read.
Some of the students involved were reported to be attending classes Monday, but others did not.
“They’re staying home for their safety, or they’re still coming to school – they have no punishment," Homewood-Flossmoor student Abimbola Oyefeso said, adding, "Basically, nothing has happened to them and I don’t think it’s being handled correctly."
That sentiment was echoed by some parents who met with the school in wake of the incident.
“I would like to see the students expelled. I would like to see some cultural sensitivity training. It should have been done proactively but now that we’re dealing with it – let’s face it head-on,” said Dr. La-Shawn Littrice, whose child attends the high school.
The walkout, called a "boycott against racism" was scheduled to begin at 11:15 a.m.