Wauwatosa School District Investigates “Racist, Hateful Video” Circulating Among West Students


Sara Stanislawski

“Protect Black Students” and other messages appear written in chalk on the sidewalk along Center Street outside Wauwatosa West on Sat. May 15, 2021, after a group of protesters met Friday evening, May 14, 2021, in response to videos that have been circulating among West students.

Sara Stanislawski, Editor

The Wauwatosa School District is investigating a “racist, hateful video” that has been circulating among Wauwatosa West students.

The “student in question” is currently not attending classes in person according to a district email sent to students, families, and staff on May 13, 2021.

“Currently, we do not believe that an immediate or specific threat exists toward individuals, students, or any member of our learning community,” the district email said.

District students, families, and staff first received communication from the district in response to the videos on May 12, 2021.

“In response to appalling videos that are being circulated among some high school students, the Wauwatosa School District wishes to firmly condemn any and all racist, hateful language and violent behavior, as it is absolutely not reflective of our values as an educational community,” the district email said. “We understand how hurtful this behavior is to our school community, and remain steadfast in our commitment to supporting our students’ safety, well-being, identity and education.”

Wauwatosa West staff met in an all-staff meeting before school on May 13 in response to the videos.

Another email was sent to district students, families, and staff on May 13 providing an update on the incident.

Wauwatosa West Principal Ebony Grice made an announcement to West students over the school’s PA system on May 13 about the videos.

“Principal Grice delivered a message to all Wauwatosa West students during advisory, which reiterated that the Wauwatosa School District does not condone the behavior displayed in the video, and that we seek to maintain a school environment where all students feel safe and accepted. This message was also reinforced by advisory teachers,” the district said in the email sent later on May 13.

According to the email, the district initiated an investigation under School Board Policy 5517, the district’s anti-harassment policy.

“In accordance with this policy, we will conduct a thorough and objective investigation, and will consider all facts, documents, witness accounts, and other relevant information,” the email said.

The Wauwatosa Police Department is confirmed to be working with the district related to the videos.

The videos are unrelated to a Snapchat threat regarding “West High School” identified earlier in the week on May 11 which the Wauwatosa Police Department determined as posing no threat to district buildings as of May 12.

A group of protesters gathered on Center Street outside of Wauwatosa West on Friday evening, May 14, in response to the videos.