ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The St. Louis County NAACP says it was the right call to remove the students from campus, but now the real work begins.

Spokesman John Gaskin applauds the decision to expel students that sent racists messages over social media. He says he’d like to stay in contact with MICDS parents and hold town halls to address the school’s culture.

READ MORE: MICDS Students Who Posted Racist Messages Expelled

“We can’t address the symptoms and not address the illness here. We’ve got to take a deep, hard look into why a group of young women would feel thay it was ok to use that sort of language, in any form, in the year 2017,” he says.

Gaskin says the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back this time was outrage from African American parents who threatened to pull their children out of school.

Even though the students are out at the private school, Shiela Forest, an African American mom and business owner says there was racial tension at the private school when she and her husband pulled their two sons out ten years ago.

“I believe it’s done unintentionally. When a person is used to treating another person a certain way, and they do know any differently because this is all they know, then they think it’s ok, because they haven’t been told that it’s not ok,” she says.

READ MORE: MICDS Students’ Offensive Private Messages Made Public

She says more needs to be done to combat racism.

“At this point we have to have to have the conversations, and it’s uncomfortable. They’re uncomfortable conversations, but we’re the ones that always have to take the high road. But at what point will the other people say ‘yeah, I do want to change,” she says.

Shiela Forest’s family has owned clothing and gift store company Afro World for nearly 50 years.

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