Protest over racist private school video ends in student victory
A four-day sit-in by angry students at the tony Ethical Culture Fieldston School in Riverdale ended Thursday after administrators finally complied with a long list of demands, an organizer told The Post.
Without access to showers or beds, nearly 100 kids spent three nights inside a school building to protest racial issues at the famously liberal institution.
But a school source said participants could use school showers during the course of the protest.
The action was launched after the emergence of a video last month that depicted several apparently intoxicated Fieldston students using the phrase “crack n—-” at an off-campus gathering.
One of the featured students in the clip — which was several years old — has left the school while others were suspended, sources said.
Members of a group called #studentsofcolor matter massed inside an administrative building early Monday morning and refused to allow staffers to enter their offices.
They vowed to remain until their preliminary set of four demands was clearly and completely complied with by school officials.
With parents and supporters dropping off pizzas, doughnuts and Costco bags, the group remained in the building through Thursday.
Organizer Chassidy Titley, 16, of Manhattan, said that school administrators finally agreed to comply with all of their demands and that the protest was officially coming to a close.
Titley said ultimatums included a “global investigation into systemic racism at Fieldston,” an official apology from the students in the video, a copy of the disciplinary decision against them, and a promise “that the victimized students are granted academic leniency.”
Titley said school brass agreed to those fundamental requirements — as well as 16 others — after the students hung in there for days.
“The experience has been a little rough,” Titley said of the challenging conditions. “We were stuck in a building. We couldn’t go outside. We couldn’t shower, just brush our teeth. But overall it was good because we got our demands met and we were able to make a long-term change for students who come here in the future.”
Titley said Fieldston fails to adequately address systemic racial bias because it views itself as beyond reproach when it comes to social justice.