Facebook post draws 1,000-plus comments about racism at Rock Bridge High

1 month 5 days 21 hours ago Saturday, June 06 2020 Jun 6, 2020 Saturday, June 06, 2020 5:36:00 PM CDT June 06, 2020 in News
By: Ben Scott, Columbia Missourian

COLUMBIA (Missourian) - The principal of Rock Bridge High School will host a Zoom meeting Sunday to listen to students of color about racism they have experienced at the school. 

Jacob Sirna scheduled the meeting after a Rock Bridge student invited students of color to share times they experienced racism at Rock Bridge. The Facebook post had more than 1,000 comments as of late Saturday afternoon. 

The post contains comments from past and current Rock Bridge students. Some denounced students and teachers as having made racist comments and not being held accountable. Others condemned racial segregation within the school.  

"As the principal of Rock Bridge High School, my No. 1 job is to make our environment the safest place it can be for every single one of our students," Sirna said in a YouTube video announcing the Zoom meeting posted in the comments. "I need to listen. I need to hear from you."

On Friday, an audio recording was posted on Twitter by actress Skai Jackson, saying it was of a teacher calling a student a racial slur. Jackson urged people to contact Columbia Public Schools Superintendent Peter Stiepleman.

Jackson's post had been retweeted more than 3,000 times and collected almost 10,000 likes as of late Saturday afternoon.

District spokesperson Michelle Baumstark said the recording is from four years ago and was investigated at the time. The district intends to review the investigation in light of the recent tweet, she wrote to the Missourian.

The details of the investigation cannot be made public.

Baumstark said Stiepleman has a time set to meet with students who contacted him directly. 

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