By Ava-joye Burnett

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Racial tension has been boiling over at one Anne Arundel County school for days. Monday night, a local group stepped in as parents and students complained about a hostile school environment.

Ava-joye Burnett has been following this story from the beginning and was at Monday’s meeting.

Both parents and students who attend North County High had passionate responses to what’s been going on at the school over the past week. It all started after a student wrote an essay many are calling racist.

Students aired their frustration after a fellow classmate wrote an essay many are calling racist.

“It was very wrong. It was inappropriate and it was offensive,” said one student.

At a meeting hosted by the NAACP Monday night, the students did not back down, not even from the one person who publicly defended the author.

“I don’t fault this young man, he met the rubric of the assignment,” a man at the meeting told the attendees.

His statement only fueled the angry sentiment from students.

“You are not in the school, you don’t know what we go through,” one student shouted back to him.

The controversy started earlier this month when a student’s satirical essay—said as a response to racism would be to send African-Americans to the Sahara to be killed.

That was the student’s response to a classroom assignment, which was supposed to mimic an author from the 1700s.

Later in the week, students at North County reported that a derogatory word for African-Americans was written in a bathroom.

In the following days, the school held meetings with students and by week’s end, a letter had to be sent home to parents addressing the underlying racial tension.

In a statement, the school system said, “The difficult but honest conversations underway at North County High School will not produce instant satisfaction. This is an ongoing process, which will require the dedicated effort of students, parents, staff and community members to produce lasting positive results.”

After Monday’s meeting, students had one wish.

“I don’t ever want to have to do this again. I don’t ever want to have to go through this again,” said a student.

The school system is still investigating the racial epithet that was reported in a bathroom.

After Monday night’s meeting, students and parents were encouraged to show up at school board meetings and voice their concerns.

The school system is still reviewing the assignment that sparked this controversy. It’s not yet known if the assignment will be on the curriculum for next year.

Ava-joye Burnett

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