"Then you hear what they're saying, and then they're beating their hands against the tables," [Josie] said. It got louder and louder: "Build a wall!"They describe feeling scared, but also angry at their fellow classmates. Josie goes on to say she's been the victim of several racist comments, but felt the school swept the allegations under the rug. She took the video in hopes of retaining some evidence.
"You look around, and half the cafeteria is doing it," Isabelle said. She and others felt that it was directed toward her and the other Hispanic students.
At school, Josie said, she became the focus of negative attention, instead of the students who did the chanting.Due to feeling of ostracization, Josie left Royal Oak Middle School and has enrolled in private school, a change her mother says is for the better.
"When I walked into the room, people would walk out of the room for some reason. People would see me in the hallways and turn around and walk the other way," she said. "I felt like an animal."
During our visit to Royal Oak, Josie finished her first week of classes at her new school. Alicia Ramon already sees the difference.You can read the article in its entirety here.
"She was joking. She was funny. She was back to her usual self, a kid I hadn't seen since this happened," she said. "I feel like seeing a weight that was lifted off her shoulders."
Josie says she likes her new school, even though she has to wear a uniform now and the homework load has increased. She feels safe and welcome, she says, two things she didn't feel at Royal Oak Middle School.