Community meeting discusses issues facing students of color

FITCHBURG, Wis. (WMTV) -- Community leaders, parents and teachers met Saturday morning at the Boys and Girls Club in Fitchburg to talk about what students of color face at school.

The meeting came more than a week after a Whitehorse Middle School teacher allegedly pushed an African American student and pulled out three of her braids.

NBC15 was not allowed into Saturday's meeting, but organizers said several parents shared personal stories about what their kids have experienced.

Ruby Clay was one of those parents. She said her daughter experienced a racial slur at Hamilton Middle School in Madison in 2018.

"It's still very hard. The wounds are still very fresh," Clay said. "It's only been a couple months since she actually went through it, and so as I said before, dealing with the reaction of what happened to her."

Sabrina Madison, founder of the Progress Center for Black Women, helped organize Saturday's meeting. She said discussions and ideas from that meeting will be made public.

"We want to take that information, reach out to the community, go to community collaborative to work on going from solution proposed to implementation of solution," Madison said.

Madison said what happened at Whitehorse Middle School prompted the meeting on Saturday, but parents like Clay said there are larger issues involved.

"It's a process, it's going to be a journey, it didn't start overnight, this Is not an isolated incident," Clay said.

However, Clay said Saturday's meeting felt like progress.

"To be here and actually see the parents in the room, it was absolutely amazing. And like Sabrina said, just rewarding at the same time," she said. "I felt like yes, they hear us, and I just really hope that there are allies, not behind those four walls, but out here for us too."

The Madison Police Department is still investigating the incident at Whitehorse Middle School. A spokesperson from the department told NBC15 police should release their findings soon.