Collingswood students’ unofficial club under investigation for alleged racism, harassment

School district officials notified parents about a “non-sanctioned group of students who engaged in unacceptable actions.”

Collingswood High School

Students say kids in the club often racially harass other students. (6abc)

Camden County prosecutors are investigating several bias incidents at Collingswood High School that allegedly happened before spring break. On Friday, school district officials notified parents via emails that they were conducting a “Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying investigation.”

“We were informed by the High School administrative team of the existence of a non-sanctioned group of students who allegedly engaged in unacceptable actions,” wrote Dr. Fred McDowell, school superintendent.

Officials said some students formed a white student union in response to the school’s Black Student Union. Collingswood Police are also investigating the incidents that were first reported by NJ Pen.

“This incident does not define who we are as a school. Hatred, racism, and intolerant behavior are not aligned to the values we hold dear at Collingswood High School,” Principal Douglas Newman said in a separate email.

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A spokesperson for Collingswood Public Schools declined to comment.

Kemani Wharton, a first-year student at the school, told WHYY News partner 6abc that bias incidents reached a new level recently.

“It’s been crazy in school, probably since last year,” she said. “I saw a lot of different things in school. It was like racial slurs.”

Last year, about 100 students staged a walkout over allegations of racism at the school.

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