Chicago high school investigates students not wanting to dance to a song in Spanish

Marist High School/ Facebook

Kids at a Catholic high school dance in Chicago touched off a racism scare by not liking a song with Spanish lyrics, and prompted an investigation by nervous school officials, NBC 5 in Chicago reports.

Officials at Marist High School said ay they have completed an investigation into allegations that a group of students took part in what some Latino students viewed as a racist protest during a recent dance. The complainants were some Latino students who apparently took other students’ dislike of Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Achy Breaky Heart” in Spanish … very personally.

At the school’s homecoming dance on Oct. 9, students apparently kneeled down in apparent protest while others booed. Videos of the incident were posted to social media and characterized as racism, and the investigation by the school followed.

Administrators at Marist said on Oct. 12 that they had found no support for the racism accusations. Students were found to have knelt during multiple songs, and the company that provided the DJ, MG Sound, told officials that it is common for students to either kneel or sit during some songs to tell DJs to “change the song being played.” Administrators also found that students were observed dancing to other Spanish-language songs that the DJ played.

Chaperones corroborated all those findings.

Still, the investigators felt it necessary to write: “We recognize there are still students at Marist who viewed this video or were at the Homecoming dance that were hurt by these actions. … Marist is a family, and when one of us hurts, we all hurt. The fact that there were students who left the dance hurt by what they witnessed showed us that there is work to do.”

Elizabeth Pacheco, who took video of the incident, claimed that she heard a student at the dance make negative comments about Mexicans. Also, some two dozen students walked out of their lunch period to protest the incident. Several said it isn’t the first time they’ve felt racially attacked and mocked.


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