Students launch Instagram page addressing racism in ND schools

A Davies High School sophomore said they were told by a theater student they were too dark to play a part in a play.
Published: Aug. 17, 2020 at 6:52 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Students in North Dakota are sharing their stories of experiencing racism in the classroom on social media.

An Instagram page called “Racism in ND Schools” launched in late July and has received dozens of submissions with hundreds of likes.

Students share personal accounts anonymously of racism and prejudice by mentioning their school and graduation year to verify they were enrolled at the place.

Those who began the page are students and told Valley News Live they rather remain anonymous for fear of their safety for hosting such a platform.

In Fargo, a Davies High School junior said a student accused him of being on welfare when his mom was showing up late to pick him up from practice.

A sophomore at Devils Lake High School said white students were mocking Native Americans for getting their lands stolen. A teacher reportedly didn’t do anything after being told.

A Davies sophomore said they were told by a theater student they were too dark to play a part in a play.

In another account, a Grand Forks Central High School student who is Jewish said they’ve been experiencing anti-semitism since elementary, and it led to attempts of changing their appearance so as to not look Jewish.

The alleged racism didn’t solely come from whites. There are several examples of other ethnicities sharing prejudicial views of one another.

There was a Fargo South High School senior who said that black people would make fun of Mexicans, and the jokes would hurt.

These stories are from school districts across the state.

Barry Nelson is an organizer for the North Dakota Human Rights Coalition and he said he wasn’t surprised to hear of these experiences.

“The situation has been that people have been perhaps too frightened to come forward and tell their stories,” Nelson said.

Nelson added that since the killing of George Floyd people are becoming open with sharing their experiences with racism.

“The point we are at right now is to create enough support and safety for people to be able to tell their stories,” Nelson said.

We reached out to several of the schools mentioned in the Instagram page.

Fargo Public Schools didn’t make anyone available to speak on-camera, yet said it takes students concerns seriously and discrimination isn’t accepted.

West Fargo Public Schools did not follow up with our requests and Grand Forks Public Schools told Valley News Live it plans to issue a statement on Tuesday.

Below is FPS’s full statement:

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