In the aftermath of an incident in which two Kettle Moraine High School students sent a racially insensitive social media post to another student, the Kettle Moraine School District said it has taken action against the students and the high school is looking to start a student committee to address the issues brought up by the post.
Kettle Moraine High School principal Beth Kaminski said in a Zoom interview that prompt action was taken against the two students who sent the post. Kaminski said she shared that information with students during morning announcements on Sept. 8.
“It was addressed, and it was referred to law enforcement,” Kaminski said. “I did share with them that we aren’t able to make public the results of, or the consequences that results from, an investigation or any violations of policies or behavior expectations, but I did want them to know that it was addressed, and that we did take it very seriously. They heard that right away from me that Tuesday morning.”
The Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department said Sept. 5 it recommended the Waukesha County District Attorney’s Office charge the students with one count of disorderly conduct each. The district attorney’s office declined to comment on the case.
In the same Zoom interview with Kaminski, KM Superintendent Pat Deklotz reiterated Kaminski’s comments, saying the district acted quickly once it was aware of the situation.
“So we did a complete investigation beginning Thursday night, brought that to resolution Friday morning and had taken action by Friday morning,” Deklotz said.
According to Kaminski, a student committee is also being created alongside an already existing staff committee. Kaminski said she created a staff culture and climate leadership team last year at the high school. Through monthly advisory meetings, students were engaged in lessons and educational experiences in which they started to have conversations around topics of creating a culture shift within the district, Kaminski said.
This year, an advisory student committee will join the staff team “to talk about topics that are taking place within our community and within our high school and within our district,” Kaminski said.
Kaminski shared details of that committee with students Sept. 15, and has already had 15 students ask to join the team. Her next step is to solicit staff members for the names of additional students who might join.
“They were very excited about being able to be a part of it and said ‘I’m ready to get started on this work.’ I’m excited to see where it takes us,” she said.
Kaminski said she hopes to have the first meeting of the student committee in October.
Members of the Kettle Moraine High School boys cross country team line up for the start of a cross country meet Sept. 12. They wrote messages on their race bibs to show unity after an incident in which two students at their school wrote a racially insensitive social media post to another student. (Photo: Submitted)
Cross country team’s action
Some of Kettle Moraine High School’s athletes also sent a message opposing racism recently.
Members of the boys cross-country team wrote messages on their race bibs at their Sept. 12 meet, including “Black Lives Matter,” “Love,” “Peace,” “Unity,” and “#KMKind.”
“We said, ‘Hey, this is a time for you to think through how you feel and what those posts and what the racism that was going on means and how you want to combat that,'” head coach Kevin Buntman said. “So we really left it up to the guys as to what they wanted to write on their bibs and how that looked.”
Buntman said the idea came from a conversation with his team captains.
“I just called the captains and just said, ‘Hey, what are your thoughts? What do you think? How can we maybe change the narrative and write our own story?'” he said.
Kaminski said she is proud of the team.
“I loved that our kids stepped up and they were able to really show who we really are and who we want to be because we know we have work to do. I think that’s just a great example of the type of students we have here. They want us to do better, and that was a great example of that,” she said.
Contact Alec Johnson at (262) 875-9469 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @AlecJohnson12.
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