Covington Catholic High School cancelled classes Tuesday in response to the torrent of outrage and harassment directed at a group of its students who were captured on video in a tense confrontation with an elderly Native American man near the Lincoln Memorial during Saturday’s March for Life.
“After meeting with local authorities, we have made the decision to cancel school and be closed on Tuesday, January 22, in order to ensure the safety of our students, faculty and staff,” read an email from school principal Robert Rowe to parents, obtained by Fox 19. “All activities on campus will be cancelled for the entire day and evening. Students, parents, faculty and staff are not to be on campus for any reason. Please continue to keep the Covington Catholic Community in your prayers.”
Before deciding to cancel classes Tuesday, school administrators planned to install extra security to protect students from the backlash that erupted after a number of prominent media outlets, pundits, reporters, and other celebrities tarred the students as bigots based on a misleading and partial video recording of the incident.
Lengthier videos of the incident showed that the students did not surround the elderly Native American man, Nathan Phillips, as he told the Washington Post and other media outlets, which credulously reported his account of the incident. Rather, Phillips approached the students and began drumming loudly just inches from one boy’s nose.
As Phillips drummed, the teenagers were engaged in a school chant, which they started with the permission of their chaperone in order to drown out the voices of a group of black nationalists then hurling insults like “fa**ot” and “cracker” at them.
As the more complete account of the incident emerged on Sunday, a number of the students who were present, and at least one who was not, received threatening online messages and phone calls.
2) People then proceeded to spam my family with harassments and threats of physical violence. We then find out our parents address was posted online. If that wasn't enough, our family operated business has been slandered and attacked.
— Andrew Hodge (@PikePlaceTechie) January 20, 2019
The American Indian Movement Chapter of Indiana and Kentucky planned to protest outside of the school but moved the demonstration on Tuesday to the Diocese of Covington as a safety precaution.