Presidential election brings division in Wichita school, officials send home letter

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The recent election results have caused division in our country this past week.

Riots and protests have emerged nationally and locally. And, now heated arguments among students have taken place in Wichita schools, prompting one of them to send out a letter to parents.

“I have definitely heard a lot of threats and stuff from both sides, which is unfortunate,” said Kapaun Mt. Carmel Junior, Ivy Schonhofer.

Ever since election day, some kids at Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School say they’ve heard insensitive jokes and comments often aimed at minority students, sparking arguments in the hallways, even in the classroom.

“You have a lot of boys running around with Trump signs screaming out ‘build that wall’ and saying offensive language,” stated Kapaun Mt. Carmel Freshman, Sophie Miller.

“There’s a lot of anger from the democrat side, a lot of people with the whole ‘that’s not my president’ just a lot of that kind of stuff, a lot of hate,” explained Schonhofer.

The increase in tension between classmates prompted school officials to send out this letter to parents this weekend, stating in part, “…the students of Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School are witness to behaviors and attitudes that countermand our mission to educate and form the total person in the image of Jesus Christ…”

It went on to ask parents to talk to their kids about how to respectfully handle this issue.

“We have seen incidents of what I would consider to be insensitive behavior of students thinking that they’re being funny or cute by saying something on really not recognizing the full  breadth or consequences of what they’re saying,” said Rob Knapp, Kapaun Mt. Carmel’s President.

Knapp say the school has not disciplined any students, but hopes teachers and parents will use this as a teachable moment on how to treat those with different opinions.

“These types of opportunity are the types of things we want our students to recognize and be prepared for in their own life as they go forward,” explained Knapp.

KSN reached out to school districts like USD 259, who said they have seen one incident where a student used insensitive remarks.