Missouri Students Punished for Starting Petition to Bring Back Slavery 

In Summary

Parents believe the petition was a joke gone way too far and believe the ordeal was blown out of proportion by the school.

Four Kansas City high school students, who are also members of the football team, sued a Missouri school district for punishing them after starting a petition to restart slavery.  

One of the punished students reportedly threatened to shoot up Park Hill South High School.  

According to the lawsuit, the students claim school officials violated their First Amendment, due process and equal protection rights.  

Kerrie Herren, principal of Park Hill South, was informed about the petition by a student and swiftly took action. 

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“I think that a large portion of our population is hurt, mad, outraged and confused and want to use it as way to make Park Hill South better,” Herren said in September.  

The petition started in September after back and forth teasing between a biracial student and a Black student. 

Several students laughed and commented on the petition after they posted it on social media.  

The school board expelled the biracial student who wrote the petition. Three other boys who commented on the petition, “I love slavery,” “I hate blacks,” and “I want a slave,” were suspended for 180 days.  

All the students involved in the petition are ninth graders and members of the school’s football team.  

Some parents believe the petition was friendly banter and was blown out of proportion.   

“It was a sick joke,” one parent told The Kansas City Star. “Does anyone really believe someone wants to start slavery again?”  

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 A friend’s parent reportedly overheard one of the suspended students allegedly threatening to shoot up the school. 

“The young man adamantly denies making a threat,” said his lawyer, Arthur Benson. “Fourteen-year-olds sometimes unwisely shoot their mouths off, instantly regretting it but causing no harm, no disruption. But here it was adults who unwisely overreacted, causing the disruptions and they are now trying to strip these boys of their entire ninth grades.”  

Since September, many students have received counseling and education from Terri Deayon, the district’s director of access, inclusion and family engagement.  

“I wholeheartedly believe we are in a situation that we are going to confront, restore and heal,” Deayon said. “We will be better and we will take this and use it as an opportunity to improve.”  

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