Students at NYC’s Ethical Culture Fieldston School stage sit-in to protest racist video


Students at New York City’s elite, private Ethical Culture Fieldston School locked teachers out of an administration building on Tuesday and staged a peaceful sit-in over recent revelations of the existence of a video that featured white students using the N-Word, ABC News is reporting.

The students’ key complain seemed to be connected to the lack of information over discipline to the students involved, according to ABC News.

The group is making demands, including the call for an investigation into “systemic racism at Fieldston,” ABC reported.

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Fieldston head of school Jessica Bagby said administrators did attempt to meet with students but that they were turned away, according to ABC.

The Fieldston blowup started at the end of February just a few weeks after a blackface video surfaced at Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn. On Tuesday, the Fieldston students communicated demands via social media, including through the Instagram account Students of Color Matter.

In their first post, over a yellow and white poster reading, “Stop Waiting for Another Incident,” the students wrote, “This is the fight for the students before us and the students to come. The time is now to step up and demand change, not only for the improvement of the lives of students of color, but our community at large. Will you join us or sit back and watch?”


In another post, the students wrote, “Listening and acknowledging our experiences isn’t enough. Students are an essential part of our community and it’s only right our core curriculum reflects that. Our history and literature shouldn’t be optional electives, they must be mandatory courses just as white history  and literature are.”


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The video that sparked the initial blow up surfaced last month but had been made a few years ago, school officials have said. One student who was involved has withdrawn from the school, once considered a stronghold of progressive beliefs, but the fate of other students has not been released.