The high school at the center of the media firestorm over a confrontation between teenagers, Native Americans, and Black Hebrew Israelites has closed its doors Tuesday “to ensure the safety of our students, faculty, and staff.”
School officials sent an email early Tuesday morning announcing the closure, which was obtained by Fox 19.
“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 the email, from school principal Robert Rowe.
“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,” he continued.
Many other schools in the area are closed today due to the temperatures, but Covington Catholic was originally among those with a delay. Extra security was already planned since Tuesday would be the first day the school was opened since the media wildly misreported on a video showing Covington Catholic students and a group of Native Americans. The original narrative was that the students were mocking and harassing the Native Americans, but additional footage showed that the students were the ones being harassed.
First, the students were harassed by a group of Black Hebrew Israelites who shouted racial and anti-gay slurs at the teenagers. To counteract this hate, the students claim and video suggests, the teenagers began singing their school songs to drown out the harassment. Then the group of Native Americans approached them and the leader, Nathan Phillips, began banging his drum just inches from one of the students’ faces as he smiled politely and nervously back.
The media leapt on the original story suggesting that it was the white, Make America Great Again hat-wearing male teenagers who were in the wrong, and the death threats and threats of physical harm against minors began.
Fox 19 reports the American Indian Movement Chapter of Indiana and Kentucky plans to hold a protest at 10 a.m. Tuesday outside the Diocese of Covington. The protest was originally planned to be held outside the school, but was moved “as a precaution,” according to Fox 19.
Since the additional videos gave a more nuanced view of the situation, multiple attorneys have offered to represent the students and sue individuals and media outlets who spread misinformation about the students and smeared them. As The Daily Wire’s James Barrett reported, attorney Robert Barnes offered to represent the students “for free” if they sue The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman for libel. Barnes went on to call out several others who he says libeled the students, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and comedienne Kathy Griffin.
Other attorneys also chimed in on Twitter offering their services, according to Barrett:
“I’ll happily help work the case for free as well. Evil needs to be stopped,” wrote one supporter. “Whatever I can do in PR, I am all-in,” added another. “I think it is time to get a group together that does pro bono work PR work etc. when media slander somebody innocent. We must stop this madness,” added yet another.
“Someone set up a GoFundme page and I’ll be the first check in,” wrote another follower. “This is, without hyperbole, evil. Time for us patriots to take back the narrative from the MSM/Dem liars and present truth. Thank you to the lawyers and such offering services.”