5 Kankakee students disciplined for racist comments on Snapchat

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Five students were disciplined for offensive posts on Snapchat. (WLS)

Five cross-country athletes from a Kankakee high school were disciplined, accused of posting racist comments on social media.

The athletes attend Bishop McNamara High School, a top-tiered private school in the Joliet Diocese.

"They were five students that were very good friends, as I understand it," said Edward Flavin, of the Diocese of Joliet. "Some sophomores, some seniors."

Just short of expulsion, the students have been heavily disciplined for posting on Snapchat black faces, using the N-word and, in one post aimed at a Latino boy: "I hope Trump sends you back and builds a wall."

Diocese officials said it started with the kids joking around and then it went too far.

Three white students, one Latino and an African American were involved. The school was made aware when the black student became deeply offended.

"He made that known. And as a result, Bishop Mac got involved, along with the administrators, to make sure hateful speech is not tolerated, period," Flavin said.

Community activists are hoping the students and the entire student body go through some type of sensitivity training.

"I would just hope that Bishop MacNamara and the archdiocese come together to figure out how they can address the situation and speak to our students," said Travis Miller, a community activist.

On Wednesday, Bishop held an assembly for all students to talk about the seriousness of the incident.

"I think it's an abnormality for sure for our school. It's not something we see a lot of, but it's good that the school is on top of things," said student Mikaela Prestinaro.

Kankakee is about 60 miles south of Chicago.
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educationathleteshigh schoolsnapchatsocial mediaracismKankakee County
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