DETROIT, Mi. (AP)– A public meeting called to address racist social media posts by students at a suburban Detroit high school turned volatile when a white parent asked a Hispanic parent, “Why didn’t you stay in Mexico?”
The exchange Monday shocked many who had gathered for a community meeting at the Saline Area Schools district office after white students posted racist messages to black classmates via Snapchat last month.
During the meeting at the office, about 45 miles southwest of Detroit, parent Adrian Iraola articulated that his son endured racist name-calling by students in the district and described the impact it had on him.
His son drew motivation from being called names such as taco, enchilada and nacho, Iraola said, ultimately fueling him to earn a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University.
Tom Burtell, a white man who has children attending schools in the district, then interjected, “Then why didn’t you stay in Mexico?”
Iraola responded that he lives in America because it is “the greatest country in the world.”