EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (KMOV.com) -- Edwardsville High School has pledged to change after racist social media posts sparked fights at school and caused concern for parents and students.
Students told News 4 there were several racists posts shared on Snapchat throughout the week that led to as many as five fights Tuesday and students threatened to bring a gun to school.
Police confirmed two boys were involved in a fight Tuesday stemming from the comments posted on Snapchat. Neither were arrested but both will be charged with a city ordinance violation of disorderly conduct.
Edwardsville High School canceled a number of after-school activities Tuesday after the principal said there were a number of conflicts "stemming from some offensive social media posts made by students." The superintendent said canceling after-school activities was more about a supervision issue than a safety issue.
In a Facebook post, the school district released an announcement to the student body and staff Wednesday to advise that steps will be taken to "attack racism and continue to make EHS a better place" including an assembly.
“Right now we need to heal,” the post reads. Read the full post here.
Edwardsville Police Chief Jay Keeven said his department spent more than 24 hours investigating the racist posts but determined that there was no substantial threat.
“We do not have any threat that is specifically made towards the school, staff, or students there,” Keeven said.
School resource officers are assisting the school district and interviewing students who may have been involved with the racial remarks.
The superintendent, Dr. Jason Henderson, released a statement saying the school is developing strategies and activities that will proactively educate on racism and potential effects. Henderson also proposed the idea of an equality task force at the school’s next board meeting. But some students said they’re still uneasy.
“It makes me not want to come to school to be completely honest and I think it’s a big distraction as well," said Noah Christopher, a senior. “I'm worried about my safety."
For that reason, Christopher said he planned on not attending school Wednesday.
There was an increased security presence at school on Wednesday.
As the investigation continues, the school district asked for patience as they work on ways to prevent incidents like this in the future.
The principal for Edwardsville High School sent an email Tuesday saying in part:
We will not tolerate any comments or actions that are disrespectful or offensive to others within our school. Students who make inappropriate or offensive social media posts that cause a disruption in the school day will face disciplinary consequences. Additionally, students who react inappropriately to social media posts they see or are shown by other students will face discipline. I am asking for you to talk to your student about proper use of social media and to refrain from engaging in negative or offensive posts on social media.
Christopher said racial tension has been an issue for years at Edwardsville High School. He worries the school may be trying to sweep it under the rug.
“I think overall this is a great school and I don’t think these things should be continuing. I think justice needs to be served and you know we need to move on further," said Christopher.