Moving beyond the video; Metamora gathers - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Moving beyond the video; Metamora gathers

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A followup to the video that sparked controversy in Metamora.

Wednesday night administrators brought the community together for an open dialogue on race and bullying. 

Race and cyber-bullying were front and center in Metamora Township High School's auditorium.

The meeting comes on the heels of a racially charged video that was sent to a student from some of his freshman football teammates. 

"Yeah, something has to stop, change has to begin now. Especially with this incident happening just recently things need to change now," said Kristina Sanchez who has a student at the high school.

"I've been here for 38 years. This is my town too and I would like to things go differently," said Mildred Allen who is from Germantown Hills. 
 
One suggestion that's been discussed is adding curriculum teaching students to "accept and respect" others.

Some are calling for those lessons to spread throughout the entire community.

"I've seen change over the years that I've been here. But it seems like we're going backwards and I'd like to see us continue to go forward. I love my town. I love my school," said Allen. 

"I have a lot of friends here and I want to see them come together," said Andrea Griber who lives near Germantown Hills. 

The Mayor of Metamora said the recent events are just one example of using media platforms to bully. But he thinks society as a whole needs to change. 

"When you turn on SNL I'm guilty of watching it, and guilty of laughing at the skits. Most of the time those skits however are putting someone down, or making fun of somebody. So we have a whole society out there that we need to change. We need to change hearts and minds," said Ken Maurer, the Mayor of Metamora.

In the meantime, the Mayor adds their community does and will continue to welcome diversity.

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