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Aberdeen students disciplined for hate activity during Unity Week

Aberdeen school district officials say disciplinary action has been taken against students for...
Aberdeen school district officials say disciplinary action has been taken against students for using hate speech during the school’s Unity Week.(Dakota News Now)
Updated: May. 7, 2021 at 4:19 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Aberdeen school district officials say disciplinary action has been taken against students for using hate speech during the school’s Unity Week.

Unity Week was intended as an opportunity to celebrate all students and people. According to social media posts, some students posted hate-filled messages about other students. According to social media posts, some students encouraged others to wear black in retaliation to Unity Week and the LGBTQ+ community.

Despite multiple requests, no one with the school would speak to Dakota News Now about the incident.

Aberdeen School District Superintendent Dr. Becky Guffin released the following statement:

“The views expressed by the student post do not represent any policies or positions of the Aberdeen School District. An investigation was conducted and appropriate disciplinary action is being taken. Due to student privacy rights, those details cannot be released. The Aberdeen School District condemns all types of hurtful behaviors and will take appropriate action with any situation. We will have support available for any student who has been impacted by this situation.”

One of the social media posts showed an image originally shared on Snapchat. The image showed a Unity Week posterboard hung in the school’s hallway, surrounded by students wearing black and holding up pro-Trump flags. Over the image, text read “(expletive) pride”, “(expletive) #CHS”, and “let’s not let the gays and their (anti-LGBT slur) ways into our schools.”

The South Dakota High School Democrats filed a complaint with the Department of Education and Civil Rights Division over the incident, according to a tweet from the organization.

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