Chicago students go on strike after teacher says “go back to your country” during US anthem
On Wednesday, students at a Chicago high school held a sit-in protest in defense of a Hispanic student. Returning to the events of January 30, at a passing assembly, several students, including 17-year-old Yésica Salazar, refused to rise from their seats in protest against the immigration policy of the president’s office. Upon hearing the refusal, the teacher said “go back to your country”.
One of the Gym Teacher's, Mr Spurlin made racist comments about some of our fellow students we spent all day sitting, yelling, chanting, making signs and drumming. Hopefully they fire him #sennhighschool @cps @SennHS pic.twitter.com/bp5uifY41D— Random Senn Student (@RandomSenn) February 12, 2020
At that very moment, Salazar retorted the teacher's racist attack by the phrase that she was a US citizen. A dispute ensued between the teacher and the student, the teacher argued that the student had free food and she was obliged to stand for it during the anthem. Then the student left the audience.
“After that student left the auditorium, Salazar said the teacher asked her if her legs were broken. She said "no," and began to explain why she was sitting,” Salazar said, according to NBC News.
"Before I could finish my sentence, he responds back with the famous line: 'Go back to your country.'" she said.
The school principal, Mary Beck, announced during the strike that the school district was notified of the incident and an investigation is underway. A school district's press secretary, James Gherardi, later confirmed information about the investigation.
According to police reports, the protest was not completely peaceful. During the strike, a 15-year-old girl was detained due to a fight with a 55-year-old man. It is reported that the girl pushed the man and he fell.
To date, it is not known whether the teacher was removed. The school district declined to comment.