Churchill community meets to address N-word passes handed out by students

Parents, teachers and administrators at Winston Churchill High School are searching for solutions after students recently passed out tickets that encouraged others to use the N-word.

Community members met Tuesday to discuss the incident and how the school will respond.

The passes were handed out during lunch on February 8 and are based on a meme of a Willy Wonka ticket, according to the school administration.

Principal Brandice Heckert and other Montgomery County Schools officials said they have created a plan that would be rolled out in phases to turn the incident into a teachable moment.

A group of about 40 student leaders have met to begin planning how to share their experiences with racism and other forms of discrimination in order to educate their peers.

Parents seemed to be supportive of students taking the reigns to have discussions about race with each other.

"Peer pressure is huge in high school and if we can use that for good and have them influence their peers and say just because you hear it in a song that doesn't mean it's OK," said parent Ayana Majors.

"It starts with the kids. It starts with the parents. It starts with the school the teachers. Everybody collectively plays a role in making a change," said Jay Martin.

Heckert condemned the incident in an e-mail to parents calling it a "racist, hateful act," and told parents the students involved would be disciplined in accordance with the MCPS code of conduct.