School, community outraged after video shows Illinois teens in blackface

FLOSSMOOR, Ill. — Students and parents at suburban Homewood-Flossmoor High School were upset after seeing a photo and video of white students in blackface on social media.

A video and photos of three white teens in blackface going through a drive-thru was shared over the weekend. In it, one of the teens was wearing a Homewood-Floosmoor sweatshirt.

Some parents said some students were in tears over the social media incident in class Monday.

"I hate it. I feel really bad for the community. I hate the attention that it's brought to our community,” parent Opal Ray said.

The student body at Homewood-Flossmoor is nearly 70 percent African American.

In a letter sent to parents, the district said the posts were “highly offensive and culturally insensitive.” The letter went on to say the posts were “not representative of the high expectations we have for all students who attend our school.”

The mayors of both Homewood and Flossmoor issued a joint statement calling the images “highly offensive.” They said the villages have “come together to show solidarity in our condemnation of this type of behavior.”

Some parents who know the students in the videos defended them and said they just didn’t know what blackface meant.

However, students who saw the video called it blatantly racist and said that in 2019, there can be no excuse.

“We learned about this stuff when we were in middle school. We learned about it when we were even younger than that,” senior Acque Warner said.

The district superintendent did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Administrators have met with the students involved and their parents. Due to confidentiality laws, the district is not discussing what action has been taken with the boys involved.

Students are planning a protest and walkout Tuesday over what happened. The principal has urged students to remain calm in coming together to move forward.