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‘We want change’: Quincy students leave school in protest after racist video surfaces online

The video had sparked an altercation between two students earlier this week, according to school administrators.

High School fight incidents

A fight broke out between two students on Tuesday at Quincy High School after a video one of the students reportedly made, which included “racist hate speech,” surfaced online, according to a letter from school administrators to the community.

On Friday, students walked out of school and demanded change, confronting school administrators in the process.

Tuesday’s incident was just one in a series of recent fights in schools throughout the state. There was a fight at Webster Middle School, which is in Quincy, on Tuesday as well.

Elsewhere, faculty at Stoughton High School were injured while trying to separate students involved in a fight on Wednesday. In Boston, Henderson Inclusion School has new safety measures after its principal was attacked and knocked unconscious by a student last week. A day after that incident, a staffer at the nearby John W. McCormack School was injured when he hit his head on a locker while trying to separate students involved in a fight.

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And in October, Lawrence High School was also dealing with problems involving fighting students.

At Quincy High School, authorities spoke of an incident from last week involving a video with racist hate speech exchanged between students at North Quincy and Quincy high schools, noting that students don’t necessarily fully comprehend the consequences of their actions.

“While identifying the issues of racism and hate speech are easily done, the more difficult work is to address the root causes of these conflicts and support the students and staff affected,” officials said in a letter to the community. “There are clearly issues with culture and climate that require collaboration with outside resources and strategic planning in order to move forward with reinforcing our schools as safe and supportive environments.”

Video footage of Friday’s protest shows students, some walking with signs, chanting, “We want change.” 

Students also asked administrators to work toward a resolution.

“We want change and we want it very soon,” one student can be heard saying in a video in which protesting students confronted school officials Friday.

A meeting was held with students on Wednesday from 8:15-10:30 a.m. with the help of Walker Therapeutic and Educational Programs, administrators said in their letter. Community forums, also with Walker Therapeutic, are set for Friday at 3 p.m. virtually, and Monday at 5 p.m. at the high school.

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“These are immediate responses to the ongoing work that will continue to be done with students on a daily basis through community building, health education and interventions, and peer mentoring,” the letter said.

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