A suburban Detroit area school meeting to discuss racist social media posts by students was disrupted by a white parent making racist remarks to a Latino parent during the meeting.
Adrian Iraola, a native of Mexico and a United States citizen, told a story during the meeting of how his son faced racist names while attending Saline High School.
Tom Burtell interrupted Iraola and shocked the room when he asked: “Why didn’t you stay in Mexico?”
Burtell’s son Matthew was mortified by his father’s statements and condemned them in an interview with MLive.com interview Tuesday.
It’s of vital importance to call out racism wherever you see it. ‘We can’t stand idly by – as children, as brothers and sisters, as friends and as people interacting with each other in daily life – when someone says or does anything racist. It´s all of our responsibilities and it shouldn’t have to get to this.”
On January 27th, Saline High School officials learned of messages that included slurs derogatory toward black people, that were posted in a Snapchat group that was given the name ‘Racist’ with two gorilla emojis after black students joined.
One non-black student also posted messages including “WHITE POWER” and “THE SOUTH WILL RISE AGAIN.”
Scott Graden, the district Superintendent, commented on the messages and what went down at the meeting.
We started a committee last January, so, a little over a year ago in an effort to really address some of the issues of systemic racism in our community and in our society and try to figure out ways we can improve,’ Graden said. ‘And while we are working and getting a lot done and we share that with the community, clearly there´s a lot of work to do. And a lot more we can do.”
The community has a long way to go if they can’t even have a meeting to discuss racist remarks in school without racist remarks being made in the meetings.
Flip the page to see Burtell’s racist remark towards Iraolo during the school meeting on combatting racism.