Community and religious leaders react to Kickapoo controversy

SPRINGFIELD,Mo.-- Members of the community say incidents of inequality and racism throughout Springfield Public Schools are beginning to surface. With several incidents happening this year alone.

The conversation on the issue continues after a vile racist rant was posted on social media by a Kickapoo Student; just weeks after posters supporting the Gay, Straight, Trans Alliance were ripped off walls at Kickapoo High School.

The racist incident has sparked conversation among the community and religious leaders across the Ozarks.

"I want the community to know that the students who are suffering are not alone and do have allies," said Rabbi Barbara Block, Temple Israel.
She wants to mend the gap but says it will take a community effort.

"You shall not stand idly by while your neighbor bleeds," said Rabbi Block. "We have children who are suffering in our school systems because of what is happening. And we need not stand idly by."

The NAACP, Rabbi Block, and other organizations like Faith Voices started the dialogue; In an attempt to create action, meetings with SPS have been ongoing.

Susan Schamalzbauer with Faith Voices of Southwest Missouri says, she's disgusted and hurt by these incidents and says she's on a mission.

"When you take care of those closest to the pain, you're taking care of all students and making a much better environment for our community and for our students to learn," said Schamalzbauer

Schamalzbauer says she wants to fight for equality.

"I want Springfield to be a place where all students, can learn and feel safe.

In the midst of the mayhem, Community leaders are working to get these issues addressed.

"We look forward to the entire community of Springfield stepping up and saying no to hate," said Rabbi Block.