After swastikas in school bathrooms and racial slurs on the bus - Monroe parents demand action

MONROE, Wash. — After swastikas in school bathrooms and racial slurs on the bus - Monroe parents are demanding action.

Monroe parents plan to confront district officials Monday about two separate racist incidents at two schools which occurred within the same week.

KIRO 7 has obtained copies of letters the Monroe School District sent to families at Park Place and Hidden River middle schools.

One of these letters was signed by Hidden River Middle School Principal Johnathan Judy and Acting Superintendent Kim Whitworth.

The message reads in part, “It is with a heavy heart that I am writing to let you know about an incident…on one of our school buses involving inappropriate and racially insensitive language between a staff member and a student of color.”

According to the letter, that staff member has been placed on administrative leave.

In a different correspondence penned by the principal of Park Place MS, Kristie Hilson, another racist incident is alleged.

“We have seen an increase in vandalism in our student restrooms,” said Hilson. “Drawings of racist symbols on bathroom stalls such as swastikas and KKK.”

Junelle Lewis was among the parents to receive that letter from Hilson.

“My son has to see KKK written on a stall or walking down the hall, and someone yells, ‘Hey, there goes a monkey,’ said Lewis. “I’m not going to sit back and wait for somebody to advocate for my child.”

Lewis will be among the parents speaking at Monday’s school board meeting. She works for the district, and she’s also got seven kids enrolled in it.

“We need to address it district-wide,” said Lewis. “It keeps coming up.”

In November of 2021, a video surfaced showing a Monroe SD student yelling a racial slur twice during a dispute with a Black classmate. This video sparked great controversy. Parents launched protests and called for the superintendent’s resignation.