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Spitting Incident Not Racially Motivated, School Principal Says

A student at the Shelton Intermediate School spit on an African American at the Smithsonian African American History Museum
A student at the Shelton Intermediate School spit on an African American at the Smithsonian African American History Museum Photo Credit: sheltonpublicschools.org

A group of students in a Fairfield County school were thrown out of the Smithsonian’s African American History Museum in Washington, D.C. after a white student spit on a black visitor.

A student from the Shelton Intermediate School reportedly spit over a balcony during a visit on Friday, Oct. 11, hitting an African American visitor below. The incident is not believed to be racially motivated, according to school officials.

Shelton Schools Superintendent Chris Clouet issued a public apology after the group of students was kicked out of the museum during their annual trip.

“A student, a white male, spit on a Black visitor at the museum,” he said. “This kind of action is not a reflection of who our students are, or who we are as a community.”

The incident comes a month after girls at the same school made national news for posting a photo on social media of a white student in “blackface,” followed by the NAACP issuing a statement that the school’s response was inadequate.

The principal of the school, Dina Marks, who was on the trip, posted in a tweet, that has since been deleted that it “was an act of stupidity, disinterest & immaturity, completely inappropriate, but I believe, not racially motivated against that person.”

“This is not the time or place to talk about consequences," Clouet said. "But this is, for now, regrettably, a pattern of behavior that is disrespectful and does not serve anyone well - including the student who acted inappropriately and embarrassed himself and his school.”

Clouet said that “(they) will deal with this at school.”

“We need the help and support of families. Please speak to your own children in an age-appropriate manner about our expectation of how we treat people: black, white, elder or young, or anyone, a child, or adult, may perceive of being different,” he posted on Facebook. “Shelton schools and the Shelton community can do better! We must!”

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