In a June 11 email to Clackamas High School families, Principal Nate Muñoz said he regretted posting a video on the school's Instagram page prior to the findings of the official investigation into an alleged hate crime that turned out to be more complicated.
The vandalism that took place at CHS on May 23 was later determined to have been perpetrated by more than 60 students who were involved to varying degrees and represented different racial and ethnic groups within the school.
"I was responding from an emotionally charged space as I watched the impact on our staff and students as they walked through the front doors of our school that morning," Muñoz wrote. "I apologize for releasing this video prior to the completed investigation, which caused additional hurt and harm throughout our school community."
Muñoz said a group of students brought and spread the refried beans on the school to follow a social media video trend, not with the intent of degradation of Hispanic people. The vandalism took various forms including fireworks, toilet paper, chalk, spray paint, forks, beans, for-sale signs and Trump campaign stickers.
Muñoz said the investigation revealed that a separate group of three to five students hung the Trump campaign signs and stickers.
"While initially, the vandalism event had the appearance of a coordinated event, through the findings of the investigation, the students involved were not a single group with a single intent," he wrote. "Regardless of the intent, I am aware of the impact this event had on members of the school community."
In response, Muñoz helped develop a letter denouncing the vandalism, coordinated communication with NCSD Latino families, held student affinity listening circles for all students, held space for staff affinity groups, and held one-on-one care conversations with staff and students. He wrote that there's a "tremendous amount of misinformation circulating on social media and among students" regarding the May 23 incident.
"This misinformation is continuing to cause hurt and harm to our students, staff and community," he wrote. "Our seniors have worked hard over the course of their schooling, and we need to celebrate their accomplishments free from conflict. Our focus must remain on celebrating our graduates."
Muñoz said that students who were involved in the vandalism have been disciplined, and their level of the discipline varied depending on the degree of involvement in the incident. Due to student privacy, he said he's not able to share the specifics of that discipline.
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