Black students at a Connecticut private school used Instagram to call out school employees and peers for their racist behavior.
Beginning in June of 2020, the BlackAtKing handle has included posts of numerous accounts of racism at the King School, which often named perpetrating staff members publicly.
The King School enrolls 695 students, of which 13 percent are non-white. Annual tuition for the school is $45,290, Private School Review reports.
The accounts included instances of Black students told they could not get into prestigious universities, students using racial slurs, and double standards for Black students as a few of the allegations against the school.
The posts also had comments from Black students such as, “My friends refused to believe my grades were real.”
One story describes a staff member allegedly “mocking students” for protesting the death of Eric Garner by a New York police officer.
According to one Black male student at the K-12 institution, when in sixth grade he was forced to run outside with other students in the woods at night in a role play of the “Underground Railroad” while other students and teachers acted as “slave catchers.”
“We were led by another white counselor to a ‘safe house’ and made to hide in the bathroom. The ‘slave catchers’ then found some of us in the bathroom and captured us, splitting us from the group,” he wrote.
Students described dealing with microagressions, such as Black students being confused for other Black students, as well as teachers and students constantly commenting on the hair of Black students.
“I heard a teacher talk to a mother about my hair and how ‘different’ it was. She complained about how (the) other girls’ hair was neat and straight while mine was curly,” a female student posted.
Another post shares and incident in which white upper classmen performing in a production of “The Wiz” were asked to “deliver their lines in Black accents.”
There are over 100 reports of racist remarks from teachers and students “fetishizing” and “sexualizing” Black students, and several claims about certain faculty who were said to be “completely obsessed with policing Black women’s bodies,” per the Insider.
Black employees of the school also felt that they were working in a “hostile” environment, as mentioned in one post claiming to be from a teacher in which they said some white teachers would accuse the school’s director of equity and inclusion of “pushing” an agenda.
The King School released a statement this week referencing the “eye-opening and heartbreaking testimonies” from students on social media in which they said, “We deeply regret and apologize for the pain suffered by anyone within our walls.”
“Our goal to become a more inclusive school and an anti-racist institution will require us to work to ensure a safe space for every member of our community – especially for those who belong to communities of color,” the statement continued.
In response to the accusations, the K-12 private school hired a law firm to investigate the accusations, as well as recognize methods to “make the institution more inclusive and diverse,” reported CT Insider. In light of George Floyd’s death and subsequent protests that gripped the country, the schools also created a task force on “diversity, equity and inclusion.”
The letter detailed some of the changes being made by the task force in order to foster “a more inclusive and anti-racist school.” Those changes include a greater focus on increasing diversity among the faculty, student body, and board of trustees, along with training sessions and workshops for faculty and staff concerning implicit bias and systemic racism, according to CT Insider.