Group waves Confederate flags in rally outside of Springfield Hi - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Group waves Confederate flags in rally outside of Springfield High School

(Source: WTOL) (Source: WTOL)
HOLLAND, OH (WTOL) -

Police are investigating an incident that occurred on the property of Springfield Local Schools Monday night. 

Pictures and videos on social media show a group of young people, all male, waving a Confederate flag outside the school during what appeared to be a rally. 

The group, some of which are believed to be students, were also allegedly saying racial slurs during the rally. 

Springfield Superintendent Matt Geha says the incident happened between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. last night. Geha says it started as a non-school affiliated youth gathering that then got out of control. 

"We don't support any activity that would single out anybody in a negative way," Geha said. "So there is a lot of education that has to be done in preparing our young people to completely understand that the actions that they choose to take effect other people."

The group meeting at the school was a national Christian youth group known as Young Life. The group was supposed to have a country-themed night.

The leader of the Toledo chapter says when the incident happened, the kids were inside the school setting up. He also said Young Life does not support any kind of oppression.

WTOL spoke to two mothers whose children were involved in the rally. They said it was not meant to be racist. They also said their children received threats in response to the videos and pictures.

However, Keith Rosemond, who has children in Springfield said the spectacle was still upsetting.

"When I saw the stuff myself and I said 'That's a lot for a kid to deal with,' along with all of the other things that come with being a teenager in school," Rosemond said. "I just talked to them about controlling themselves and not letting all of the tension going on within the school control them and interfere with what they are at school for."

The school released the following statement 

We are often asked what separates Springfield Local Schools from other school districts in the area and we are quick to respond that it is the rich diversity of our people - a blend of staff and students from varying ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds that work together in a real-world environment. Our wealth of experiences and traditions combine to define the quality of a Springfield education! We have come to know this as, "Springfield PRIDE", and we endeavor each day to use our expertise and pride to expand and enrich the educational experience of each student. 

As the center for the community, Springfield Local Schools frequently provides local organizations access to our facilities. On October 10, 2017 the district was deeply saddened to learn about an incident that occurred in front of Springfield High School prior to an outside youth organization meeting. Springfield Local Schools does not condone or support the behavior that was witnessed on our campus. The district strives to provide a nurturing environment for ALL students. Springfield Local Schools is fully committed to providing support for any students who are affected by the incident and a thorough investigation is underway.

The Lucas County Sheriffs Office is assisting in the investigation.

Meanwhile, Rosemond says the school and parents need to address these issues.

"It's not just around our nation, it's in our backyard. It's in our homes and it needs to be addressed, needs to be addressed. And people need to stop making excuses," Rosemond explained. "We're all Americans here together so we need to respect each other's backgrounds, cultures, opinions and get along together."

Rosemond says he does have confidence the school will handle the situation properly. But if not, he says he will consider moving his kids to another school.

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