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March 26, 2019

Fieldston school racism protest grows as campus occupation continues

March 14, 2019
Hundreds of Ethical Culture Fieldston School students are protesting what they describe as systemic racism and a culture of silence at the Bronx school by occupying learning spaces and locking out school administrators. (Zoë Casdin)

More teens joined student protesters Wednesday as the occupation that’s rocked the posh Ethical Culture Fieldston School entered a third day.

The Daily News broke the story in February of racial unrest at the famed Riverdale school after an shocking video of white students repeating the phrase “crack n—-r” went viral.

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Students with a group called Students of Color Matter began their protest Monday, taking over school buildings to protest the lack of response to the racist video.

About ninety students spent the night in school buildings that night, demonstrators said.

Another 50 teens occupied a second building on Tuesday night, boosting students’ confidence, said Senior Chassidy Titley, 16, who helped organize the protest.

“There are a lot more students involved,” Titley said. “We’re making sure classes can’t proceed so that all the focus is on the protest”

Titley said Fieldston administrators have given into some of their demands, including launching a probe into racism at the school and telling them what punishment was meted out to the students who produced the racist video that prompted the fiery demonstrations.

Organizers were slated to meet with administrators Wednesday, Titley said, to discuss ending the protest in exchange for more changes at the school.

Fieldston Head of School Jessica Bagby, students and administrators are working on an agreement about how to work together moving forward.

“The school and the students are aligned in their concerns and goals about transformative cultural and systemic change that is endemic in our society and our schools, including this school,” Bagby said. “The video is a symptom of these ills just as myriad incidents in schools across the city and country are.

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