LCSD1 releases report on 2019 racist and homophobic incident at McCormick Junior High School

Published: Jul. 8, 2020 at 3:14 PM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - A Laramie County School District #1 report shows racist and homophobic bullying happened prior to a March 2019 incident at McCormick Junior High School.

On March 27, 2019, four or five racist and homophobic flyers were found hanging in the school. The district then opened an investigation. On Tuesday, it released a redacted report, which concealed students, parents and staff members’ names. It found no evidence students were handing out these flyers. All flyers were removed before the school day started.

The report found one student orchestrated the incident and was suspended. Prior to returning to school, a new safety plan was created.

The report also showed Gay Straight Alliance club (GSA) members were harassed for months prior to the incident. Students also used racist and homophobic language at school. They were also bullied in the days following the incident.

The report also showed students were bringing Confederate flags to school to intimidate GSA members, who previously brought LGTBQ rainbow flags to school.

Due to escalating tensions, the school banned both LGBTQ rainbow and Confederate flags.

The report found teachers unwilling or afraid to report prior incidents to administrators. Some staff were not committed to the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program or reporting procedures.

Some teachers were also found unwilling to refer to transgender students by the pronoun of their choice. They also banned students of the same gender from holding hands while allowing students from opposite genders to do so.

The report also made future recommendations. These include implementing the established reporting process and providing the necessary training to apply it. It also recommended providing sensitivity training and other remedies.

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