A white student at Missouri’s Ladue Horton Watkins High School reportedly burned a black student with a hot glue gun in a racially motivated attack — the latest in a series of racially charged incidents that have taken place at the high school since the election of Republican Donald Trump as president.
The St. Louis American reported that police are investigating the incident, which took place two days after Election Day.
Students walked out of class on Wednesday over an incident on a school bus in which white students chanting “Trump! Trump! Trump!” ordered their black classmates to sit at the back of the bus.
Lynette Hamilton — the mother of the burned boy — posted Tuesday Nov. 15 on Facebook that white a student cornered her son in a classroom on Thursday Nov. 10, taunted and insulted him and then gave him a “third-degree burn” on his arm with a hot glue gun. The student, she said, also poured hot glue on the victim’s chair so that he was burned again when he sat down.
Hamilton wrote that she went to the school on Friday to speak with principal Brad Griffith, but was told that she needed to make an appointment. On Tuesday when she posted, Hamilton said the principal had still not contacted her.
“This is sickening, what is happening to our children and the response and action the district is taking when it comes to African-American students,” said Hamilton. “It saddens me.”
Student Tajah Walker was one of the black students ordered to sit in the back of the school bus. She participated in the student walkout on Wednesday and told the American that she feels shaken in her confidence that she is safe at school.
“I literally had a mental breakdown in the middle of the school day yesterday,” she said at Wednesday’s walkout and rally.
In her Facebook post, Lynette Hamilton said that the school — which is located in Ladue, a suburb of St. Louis not far from Ferguson, MO — has long had a history of racial strife.
“After an anti-racism/bullying meeting today,” she said, “I learned that this problem has been in this district for years and years now. With little to no consequences. Get to the back of the bus, being burned and being told get on the ship to go back to Africa is just a piece of what this district has going on and try to sweep it all under the rug.”
“I’m only a sophomore, yet I’ve had so many racial issues already,” said a student who did not wish to be named in a statement addressed to school officials. “From the two years that I have been here, I’ve already had so many racial issues — and the only time you have done something about it is when you get busted for it.”
Students have said they plan to protest every day for the time being.
“We have to continue doing this,” said a speaker at Wednesday’s walkout, “until we can go to school and not feel threatened.”
Watch video of the walkout and protest, embedded below: