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LIBERTY — School officials in the Liberty Public Schools district are responding after being alerted to a social media post involving a district high school student taking part in what is described as the “George Floyd Challenge” on social media.

“We have been made aware of a disturbing social media post involving two juveniles. This matter is being looked into by district (administration). Regardless of who produces this type of content, we want to state clearly that this has no place in our society nor is it condoned by LPS,” states a Tuesday, June 2, Twitter post from the school district’s account, @LIBERTYSCHOOLS.

“No. As a parent of three black children that attend your public schools, I expect you to make a better statement than this,” Twitter user @krissssm, who has a student in the district, wrote in response to the district’s tweet. She later added one of her children has experienced racism at the hands of other children who said they would not play with her child “because he’s black.”

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The circulating “challenge” social media post features two white males who look to be of high school age in a residence not on school district property. The picture is similar to other “challenge” photos taken and posted across various social media platforms.

The posts come after days of civil unrest across the country, including Kansas City, as protestors and rioters have taken to the streets in outrage against the death of George Floyd, an African American man killed May 25 in Minnesota. Floyd died in custody of Derek Chauvin, a white American Minneapolis police officer, after Floyd was handcuffed and lying face down on a city street during an arrest. Chauvin, who has been fired and charged with murder, kept his knee on the right side of Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, according to a criminal complaint against Chauvin. It is reported that 2 minutes and 53 seconds of that time occurred after Floyd was unresponsive.

While school is out for summer and students have not been in classrooms since the spring due to COVID-19 closures, Liberty High School Principal April Adams also took action by sending a letter to school families, saying one of the students in the initial post is a current student at Liberty High School.

“This matter is already being dealt with by district administration and authorities. Please know that any types of actions or behaviors that mock issues of racism, discrimination and intolerance have no place in our school community, regardless of where and when it is posted,” her letter states. “I would like to take a moment to thank those that immediately brought this matter to our attention. It is our mission at Liberty High School and throughout Liberty Public Schools to provide a safe and nurturing environment for both students and staff that promotes diversity and inclusion. We will not allow a social media post to deter us from this mission.”

In response to the district’s tweet, Dana Glasford, replied, “I don’t understand why anyone would blame the district? Where are their parents?”

Capt. Andy Hedrick, Liberty Police Department public information officer, said law enforcement officials pay attention to the internet and social media, but in this case, no crime was committed.

”This is disturbing. Offensive social media posts like this one are most often not criminal,” Hedrick said. “Free expression, however controversial, is protected by the Constitution. We hope they will learn from this.”

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