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Noose found in CCHS student’s locker

Though small in size, a symbol of hate and racism placed in a school locker has caused a huge stir in Corydon.
A noose made out of dental floss and placed in a locker has led the mother of a Corydon Central High School junior to lead a fight to end racism at her daughter’s school.
On Oct. 4, Mica Beauchamp’s daughter, Kitana, found the noose hanging in a locker she shared with two friends at CCHS.
According to South Harrison Supt. Dr. Neyland Clark, a boy gave a girl who shared a locker with Kitana the noose and had the girl place it in the locker.
‘It’s probably not what people envisioned when the story came out last week, but it’s still unacceptable,’ Clark said.
‘We have followed the procedures on it and are still in the process of working through it,’ Jennie Capelle, Corydon Central High School principal, said.
According to Mica Beauchamp, the girl received a one-day suspension and the boy was suspended for three days. She said that due to corporation policy on confidentiality that she’s not sure what, if any, other type of punishment the two students received.
Clark said the case has been turned over to the Corydon Police Dept., which is working in conjunction with the juvenile justice system to see if there will be any charges filed against the two students.
‘The girl was disciplined but probably not to the level Ms. Beauchamp wanted,’ Clark said. ‘The young man who constructed (the noose) received a much more severe punishment.’
Clark said Mica Beauchamp called the Indiana Dept. of Education, which reviewed the processes in which the corporation acted and reported the school district handled the situation correctly.
On Monday, Capelle, Corydon Central Junior High School Principal Mark Black, transportation director Steve Duley and Corydon Police Chief Jim Kendall met to discuss and design a safety plan for the rest of the year for Kitana Beauchamp. The family signed the plan, indicating their acceptance of it, Clark said.
‘We’ve put a plan together to where hopefully (Kitana) is not in fear of anything. We want to make sure she comes to school and feels comfortable,’ Clark said. ‘She’s got a pass to come out of any teacher’s class and come to the office and report what’s happening.’
Clark said the juvenile court system is working to set up a meeting between the Beauchamps and the parents of the girl who placed the noose in the locker. Mica Beauchamp said she’d just like to know the girl’s take on the situation and why she thought it was funny.
Mica Beauchamp also said she appreciates the effort, but it’s still not enough.
‘My problem is not with the children at this point. … I felt this girl was not properly punished. She was out of school one day and comes back and says (Kitana) needs to learn to take a joke,’ Beauchamp said. ‘Everyone that’s involved, everybody perceived this as a joke. Even if she did mean it as a joke, it’s not a funny joke. There are a million things you could joke about, but this one’s not funny.
‘I went through (CCHS) and I had to deal with the racism and the bullying,’ Beauchamp continued. ‘The school wants to have a no tolerance for bullying. Why not no racism? I’m standing up, and I want racism out of our school system. My mom went through it, I went through it and now my daughter is going through it. I don’t want any other kids going through it.
‘I would like to see better enforcement in our school system, to have just as much no tolerance for racism as they have against bullying. If you say the ‘N’ word, then take action against that kid. That’s a racial slur and it’s just like bullying them. I’d like to see our school system stand up for every student in their school.’
Clark said the school corporation does take racism seriously.
‘This is not just a school issue; it’s a societal issue,’ he said. ‘We have a lot more in common with each other than we have differences. If one of our students experiences racism, they need to go to the first staff member they can find and report it, immediately.’
Beauchamp is working on a petition to present to the school board to try and harden the system’s stance on racism. For those in the community who would like to sign the petition, e-mail her at [email protected]