A video showing a group of Marist High School students kneeling during a Spanish song played at a school dance has gone viral. And some students want action to be taken.
The video taken at the students’ homecoming dance Oct. 9, shows the students kneeling during a Spanish-language song, “Payaso de Rodeo.”
Elizabeth Pacheco, a junior at Marist, recorded a video of the incident and uploaded it to Instagram, where it went viral.
“When I got there people were already kneeling and booing to the people who were already dancing,” Pacheco said. “I was really shocked, and I did feel betrayed” Pacheco said. “These were my classmates that I had grown up with these past few years. I was really confused why they would do this to us.”
Pacheco adds that she was upset that “no one was doing anything about it, not even the staff.”
She has since been demanding answers from the school and her peers.
“I do have faith in them because they are hearing us right now,” Pacheco said. “I really want action, and I don’t want it to take so long. Even for the response back from the school, like does it really take six days to say, ‘I’m sorry, this was wrong’?”
The school responded in a statement saying that the students’ kneeling was not isolated to the song, “Payaso de Rodeo.”
The school added they “recognize there are still students at Marist who viewed this video or who were at the Homecoming dance that were hurt by these actions. Marist is a family, and when one of us hurts, we all hurt.”
Nora Gilliam, a 2017 Marist alum, said that she was shocked when she viewed the video, but that this kind of behavior isn’t new. She is also demanding action from the school.
“I would like Marist to admit its history and continued allowance of white supremacy to remain with the school,” Gilliam said. “No matter what racist events have occurred at Marist, they always brush it under the rug or deny that it was racist, just like they’re dealing with this story.”
We also reached out to the school for further comment but did not receive a response.