- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 19, 2019

A private school in Kentucky apologized Saturday after its students were filmed mocking a Native American elder near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

“We condemn the actions of the Covington Catholic High School students towards Nathan Phillips specifically, and Native Americans in general,” the 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 matter is being investigated and we will take appropriate action, up to and including expulsion,” the statement said.

Footage filmed near the Lincoln Memorial on Friday showed a group of boys – including several wearing hats bearing President Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again” — taunting a man subsequently identified as Mr. Phillips, a Vietnam War veteran and the former director of the Native Youth Alliance.

Video of the incident went viral, garnering more than 1 million views within hours of being shared on social media, prompting outrage that culminated in viewers identifying the teens as students of Covington, a private school in Park Hill, near Cincinnati, Ohio.

Covington students were in D.C. to participate in the pro-life “March for Life” rally this weekend, the school said in a statement.

“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,” said the statement.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington is investigating the incident, it said in its own statement.

Mr. Phillips was reportedly participating in a separate event, the Indigenous Peoples’ March.

In a video filmed after the incident, Mr. Phillips said he heard the teens repeat a chant popularized by Mr. Trump’s supporters: “build that wall, build that wall.”

“This is indigenous lands. We’re not supposed to have walls here. We never did,” he said in the video.

Mr. Trump campaigned on building a wall at the Mexican border as a means of stopping immigrants from entering the U.S. illegally. He has refused to sign a bill funding the federal government unless it includes billions of dollars toward his proposed border wall, creating an unprecedented government shutdown nearing its thirtieth day.

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