Disturbing videos emerged Saturday apparently taken during Friday’s Indigenous Peoples March in Washington, D.C. that appear to show Kentucky high school students mocking a widely respected Native American elder from Omaha who served in Vietnam.
The videos, which have since gone viral on social media, show students from Covington Catholic High School, an all-male college preparatory school in Park Hills, Ky., near Cincinnati, surrounding a group of marchers.
The elder has been identified as Nathan Phillips, an Omaha elder and Vietnam veteran who holds an annual ceremony for Native American veterans at Arlington National Cemetery.
It’s even worse when you see the full mob effect. pic.twitter.com/Oe7Zn5srOB
— Lulu Says (@lulu_says2) January 19, 2019
Rep. Debra Haaland from New Mexico condemned the actions of the students in the viral video.
“This Veteran put his life on the line for our country,” Haaland, one of the first two Native American women elected to Congress, wrote on Twitter. “The students’ display of blatant hate, disrespect, and intolerance is a signal of how common decency has decayed under this administration. Heartbreaking.”
Since these videos have gone online, the Covington Catholic’s social media pages have been set to private.
“We condemn the actions of the Covington Catholic High School students towards Nathan Phillips specifically, and Native Americans in general,” the Diocese of Covington and Covington Catholic High School said in a statement.
“We extend our deepest apologies to Mr. Phillips. This behavior is opposed to the Church’s teachings on the dignity and respect of the human person,” the statement said. “We know this incident also has tainted the entire witness of the March for Life and express our most sincere apologies to all those who attended the March and all those who support the pro-life movement.