School Newspaper's Immigrant Editorial Sparks Controversy

An editorial in the Ben Davis High School newspaper caused controversy and led to some minor unrest at the school Friday.

The opinion, written by students, denounced illegal Hispanic immigration and the nationwide walkout scheduled for Monday.

The editorial, titled "Migrant Slack-Off Day Also Known As May 1" takes up almost an entire page of the paper. It is unsigned and reflects the views of a student editorial board, 6News' Jeremy Brilliant reported.


Some students told 6News there were fights in the hallways and verbal confrontation -- including racial slurs -- after copies of Spotlight were handed out.

"It was disrespectful kind of, and I figured at school, that would never happen, but I guess it can happen anywhere," said Ben Davis junior Charles Allen.

"It wouldn't be fair if they turned the tables and did that to the other people, so it just wasn't fair," said senior Daren Vicknair.

In the column, students wrote: "Illegal immigrants are doing nothing but breaking our laws."

Another portion of the editorial read" "If these Illegal aliens think they are making a difference in our society, they have another thing coming," alongside a caution road sign picture depicting a man, woman and child running.

"That was rude. They shouldn't have put that on there in the first place. That's basically saying, 'Caution, watch out for the Hispanics,'" said junior Melissa Rodriguez.

A journalism advisor approved the piece. Wayne Township Schools spokesman Tom Langdoc advocated a point-counterpoint type of editorial for future papers.

Student Alfredo Camacho, who was born in the United States to Mexican parents, said he was personally offended.

"(It's) like saying, 'We don't want you in our school.' We're all there to get an education and it just kind of makes you not want to go," Camacho said.

School administrators did not endorse the editorial, but said they do agree with at least one part, which asked students to come to school Monday instead of taking the day off.

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