BY DAN FRANK
SEVERAL DOZEN white students walked out of morning assembly in an American Catholic school last week in protest against accusations of racism against black classmates, made by a top state official.
Tensions have been building at Paul VI High School since last week when New Jersey Secretary of State Regina Thomas gave a speech on racial justice at the school.
Many students and faculty members walked out of the speech. They said that Mrs Thomas lambasted one student for not knowing his black history and that she insinuated that white students were racist.
“It’s, like, really crazy right now. Teachers are just standing by the doors. Kids are trying to get out. Kids are in the hallway, they won’t go to class,” one female student said.
“It was chaotic. Nobody went to class first and fourth period,” another student said.
Many of the white students and faculty members were offended by what they called an overly confrontational and unprofessional speech by the secretary. Some felt she was calling them racist and a backlash against some black students fuelled the fire.
Paul VI High School is predominantly white. Now the Diocese of Camden and the local police are investigating possible threats against some African-American students at the school.