Natrona County High School officials have closed their investigation into students allegedly chanting “the South will rise” and determined it happened off campus and after school hours Tuesday, meaning the school district cannot discipline those involved.
“Natrona County High School administrators have reviewed surveillance camera video of the school property,” district spokeswoman Tanya Southerland wrote in an email. “NCHS Administrators interviewed staff members who were monitoring the parking lot and campus at the time of the incident, they did not find information that concluded the incident occurred on campus.”
She added people who may have information related to the incident were interviewed and that law enforcement had been contacted as part of the school’s investigation. Officials initially believed the incident happened on campus, but they later determined it occurred roughly two blocks away. A student who witnessed the event told the Star-Tribune on Tuesday that it happened on Walnut Street.
A group of high school students allegedly chanted “the South will rise,” — a slogan first picked up by Southerners in the years after the region’s loss in the Civil War — and displayed Confederate flags, the witness said.
“The scope of authority for the school district in disciplinary actions is limited to events on school campus or during school sponsored activities/events,” Southerland wrote Wednesday.
She added that the Natrona County School District was “committed to creating a learning and working environment that is free from harassment or discrimination and are committed to pursuit of equality for all school community members and the promotion of positive attitudes which respect the cultural diversity of our society.”
She said that high school officials are still monitoring the situation “to ensure the actions do not carry over onto school campus or disrupt school operations.”