Protest fears close school of boys in Washington videos

Kentucky’s governor has also weighed in, saying he was saddened by what happened

A Kentucky boys’ school shut down its campus on Tuesday as a precaution and a small protest was held outside their diocese as fallout continued over an encounter between white teenagers, Native American marchers and a black religious sect outside the Lincoln Memorial last week.

President Donald Trump tweeted early Tuesday that the students at Covington Catholic High School “have become symbols of Fake News and how evil it can be” but says he hopes the teens will use the attention for good, and “maybe even to bring people together.”

The recorded images that initially generated outrage on social media were tightly focused on the students wearing “Make America Great Again” hats who seemed to laugh derisively as they surrounded an elderly Native American beating a drum.

Longer videos from a wider perspective emerged later over the Martin Luther King holiday weekend, revealing that the drummer had intervened between the boys and a group of five black men, at a moment when the teens seemed to be getting rowdier, and a street preacher with a megaphone was escalating the racist statements he had been making against both groups.

READ MORE: Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Soon, all sides were pointing fingers, speaking their own truths about feeling victimized and misunderstood. And even after a fuller picture emerged, many people didn’t seem ready Tuesday to let it go.

“We just don’t know what the volatility of the situation is with these people that react and they don’t know the full story. And it’s very scary,” Jill Hamlin of Cincinatti, who was there to chaperone as the boys attended an anti-abortion rally, told FOX News Tuesday morning.

The American Indian Movement Chapter of Indiana and Kentucky held a small protest outside the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington, with activists outnumbered by the media. Meanwhile, the school’s principal, Robert Rowe, said that “after meeting with local authorities,” they decided to close the campus “to ensure the safety of our students, faculty and staff.”

The diocese, which initially issued a statement criticizing the boys’ behaviour, was unavailable for comment Tuesday morning. Both the school and the diocese websites were taken offline.

Kentucky’s governor also weighed in, saying he was saddened by what happened.

“It was amazing how quick those who preach tolerance and non-judgment of others were to judge and label some high school students based on partial information,” Gov. Matt Bevin tweeted. “In a world where we have a wealth of information at our fingertips, we have increasingly little discernment and wisdom… Facts matter…The truth matters…Context matters… A little more genuine caring for one another and a little less digital vitriol would be good for all.”

John Minchillo And Bruce Shreiner, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

B.C. budget will have ‘very little impact’ on poverty, advocates say

New Child Opportunity Benefit and income assistance increases are too small for a large effect

Students donate 5,265 socks to Our Place

The middle school donation drive provides socks to struggling people

Garry oaks come down on Finnerty Road

Saanich road to be widened for two-way bike lanes, sidewalks

Black Press readers share photos of their favourite critters on #LoveYourPetDay

Greater Victoria is raining cats and dogs…and snails and goats

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of Feb. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

70% of Canadians agree with mandatory vaccines for children: poll

The debate for pro and anti vaccinations has heated up after a measles outbreak in Vancouver

Vancouver Island petition to decriminalize all drugs continues to collect signatures

A Courtenay couple is collecting signatures for their petition to decriminalize drugs in Canada

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

‘A little baloney’ in PM’s claim about solicitor-client privilege on SNC-Lavalin

The Conservatives and NDP want Trudeau to waive that privilege so Wilson-Raybould can offer her side of the story

Proposed edible pot rules are wasteful, would leave products tasteless: critics

When Canada legalized weed last fall, it only allowed fresh or dried bud, oil, plants and seeds

Samsung folding phone is different – but also almost $2,000

But most analysts see a limited market for foldable-screen phones

Most Read