EDMOND, Okla. - A Friday deadline set by ACLU Oklahoma has come and gone for Deer Creek Schools.
The civil rights organization is demanding the district to give apologies and make changes after telling a student to remove his Black Lives Matter shirt.
NewsChannel 4 first spoke with Decoven Roberson on Wednesday.
Students came to his defense via social media telling others to wear white or black t-shirts to school the next day.
That prompted an email from the principal - warning that a disruption in the learning environment could result in disciplinary action.
Right after that story broke, the ACLU issued a stern warning to the school district.
“We essentially laid out four or five things that we felt the district needed to do,” said Brady Henderson, Legal Director of ACLU Oklahoma.
The ACLU of Oklahoma gave the district two days to meet their demands holding them accountable for what they called first amendment violations.
They are demanding:
- Retraction of Principal's letter
- Reverse discipline
- Investigate reports of shirt removal requirement
- Investigation into reports of racism
“Now they’ve done some of those and they haven't done others. But they've done enough, I think, to show at least willingness to do the right thing here,” said Henderson.
One of the big priorities for the civil rights group is an apology for the family.
“The superintendent called the student, actually his mother and gave an apology, and that happened I believe late Wednesday,” Henderson said.
Another demand was an apology to Deer Creek students.
“They have backed off the idea of imposing any discipline for simply wearing a black shirt. What they haven't done yet, I think is make that clear for the future though," Henderson said.
This afternoon, the Deer Creek Superintendent sent us this statement:
“Deer Creek Public Schools strongly supports our students’ First Amendment rights. No students were disciplined for their expression of the First Amendment. We support all students within the context of maintaining safe and orderly schools, and have policy and procedures in place to help keep all students safe.
Providing a learning environment where all feel safe and respected is our number one priority. We want a student body that is inclusive and not divided. It is a priority to teach and model for our students that we respect and show kindness to each other regardless of race, color, religion, gender, or national origin, etc. All Deer Creek employees have gone through harassment and bullying training. DCHS has conducted student assemblies regarding respecting each other and treating each other with kindness to further their focus on tolerance, kindness and acceptance of all students during the 2016-2017 year. Through the leadership of the DC student council they developed the “Creek Code” which includes the following pillars: Kindness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Trustworthiness and Citizenship.
Deer Creek Public Schools will always investigate any information presented to us concerning student conduct and student safety, and we always follow state and federal laws. We are addressing ACLU concerns directly with them.”
Meanwhile, the ACLU says communication continues.
“But it's enough that realistically, there's a dialogue open and there's a dialogue open between us and the school,” said Henderson.
Decoven's mother confirms the superintendent did apologize.
She also says that next week she has a meeting with school officials, the head of the Black Lives Matter OKC Chapter, and the ACLU to discuss the situation.