SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - African American students at a prestigious high school in San Francisco staged a rally on Friday to address the school's racist culture.
Students and Lowell High School said they have had enough and are demanding changes.
"Being called the N-word. Being compared to a gorilla. There's a lot of stuff that happens here that people don't know about," said Shavonne Hines-Foster, president of the school's Black Student Union. She helped organize Friday's rally that drew about 100 people, mostly students and community leaders.
"What you are doing is right. It is righteous, and it is relevant to what education ought to be about," said Reverend Amos Brown, head of the NAACP San Francisco Chapter.
The rally comes after a disturbing incident last month at Lowell High School where racist and hateful messages appeared on an online bulletin board during an anti-racism lesson.
The school district said it's looking to find those responsible.
Students said the problems go back years and have never been properly addressed.
African American students make up 1% of the student population at Lowell. Students said many black kids don't want to attend for fear of being mistreated.
Students at Lowell are demanding teachers and staff undergo more sensitivity training. They also want changes to the curriculum, including more ethnic studies classes.
School board member Alison Collins supports a controversial proposal to eliminate Lowell's selective admissions process in favor of a random lottery system.
She also supports a resolution to create a community-wide committee looking at race-related issues in the district
"It is not just about this egregious incident. It's about a pattern of behaviors and experiences for students for years," Collins said.
"We are trying to convey the message that black students matter. This is an issue for the district. It doesn't just happen at Lowell," said Hines-Foster.
The school board could vote on the resolutions as early as next week.