Video of Illinois Students Kneeling in Protest of Song in Spanish Goes Viral

A video showing Illinois students kneeling while a Spanish-language song played has gone viral, with school officials adding they feel "disheartened" by the event.

Students at Marist High School, a Catholic preparatory high school in Chicago, were seen kneeling in protest while a Spanish song played during a homecoming dance on Saturday.

According to The Chicago Sun-Times, Elizabeth Pacheco and Maia Trevino, both 16, said some classmates also made inflammatory comments about Mexicans while the song played.

In an Instagram post that Pacheco shared on Sunday, she said: "You send us emails asking for pictures of our families during Hispanic Heritage Month.

"You hang up our banners of papel picado throughout the school. If you love our food, ethnic fashion, and energy so much... Why do you resent us? How would you like it if we kneeled to your country music?"

The video showed many students kneeling or sitting down as the music continued to play during the event.

Since being uploaded, it has been viewed more than 189,000 times.

According to The Chicago Sun-Times, Pacheco said she heard some of her classmates boo and that they heard one make a racist comment.

Pacheco and Trevino then told the outlet that a student said: "Ugh, it's Mexicans."

The girls, both of Mexican descent, continued: "I'm trying to understand their point of view. But when it's something that's so wrong that just targets you and your community, it's really upsetting. I kind of can't see them the same anymore."

A Marist spokesperson shared a statement about the incident on Facebook and said the school promoted diversity.

The statement, posted on Monday, read: "Marist High School was made aware of a post on social media concerning the events at our Homecoming celebration this past weekend. Marist's mission is to make Jesus known and loved.

"We respect and foster diversity, equity, and inclusion for all and want every student to succeed by feeling valued, seen, and connected.

"We, as a school, promote cultural diversity and are providing professional development on cultural competency for staff and students.

"Marist High School is fully investigating the events and will address them as appropriate."

Pacheco told The Chicago Sun-Times she did not want to "bash Marist" and that she was happy that educators responded swiftly to the event.

She added: "My main intention is to educate students on racism and discrimination. I think this was really disrespectful to our community."

Newsweek has contacted Marist High School for comment.

The incident happened at Marist High School
The incident happened at Marist High School, in Chicago. In this image, the entrance to the high school can be seen. Google Maps