Tom Burtell calls out racist comments in Saline, MI for Saline High School Diversity and Inclusion meeting. 'Why didn’t you stay in Mexico?' School diversity and inclusion meeting turns volatile Tom Burtell Saline, MI Burtell Family, Saline, Michigan. Saline Area Schools in Saline, Michigan Saline football players harassing black members of their own football team. White players in Saline harassing black members of their own team on Snapchat. It is inconceivable that in 2020, white members of the Saline, Michigan football team would look down on, and discriminate against, their own team members, simply because they are black. Non-white team members of the Saline High School football team in Saline, MI were discriminated against by fellow team members. This agricultural community in the small city of Saline, located in Saline, Michigan, still discriminates against people who are not of the same skin color as them. SALINE, MI - A conversation about diversity, equity and inclusion at Saline Area Schools quickly turned volatile Monday morning when one parent asked another why he didn't "stay in Mexico." For a community looking to heal and build unity after an incident involving racist messages shared among students via Snapchat, the exchange caught many in attendance off guard. During the community meeting Monday, Feb. 3, parent Adrian Iraola spoke about his son enduring racist name-calling by students in the district and the impact it had on him. The names taco, enchilada and nacho provided fuel for his son, Iraola said, motivating him to eventually earn a master's degree from Johns Hopkins University. "I remember when I went to his bedroom to say good night and he was crying because of the abuse that he was enduring in this school system," said Iraola, who is the owner of Chela’s Restaurant & Taqueria. "Those experiences leave a deep mark in their memories and they part of who you are," he said. "Embrace who you are because the bumps and bruises can make you a better person if you have the strength and the faith that can take you where you want to go. That taco, that enchilada, is working for the U.S. government now." While he was speaking, a man who later identified himself as Tom Burtell then interjected to ask, "Then why didn't you stay in Mexico?" The man declined after the meeting to confirm his name to The Ann Arbor News. School diversity and inclusion meeting Crowd members gasped at the question, with some demanding that Burtell leave. Others challenged Burtell on his beliefs, while parent Brian Wright responded that Burtell's comments were "indicative of what our kids are experiencing." Burtell said the most recent incident involving white football players inviting some black players into a group Snapchat to fire off several racist slurs at them shouldn't have been an issue for the school district to handle, since it didn’t happen on school grounds. "You think that ... whites are the oppressors," Burtell said, arguing that some education institutions discriminate against white people. "Here's the evidence. You've got black racism all the time ... try to be white and walk in a black neighborhood and see what happens." Iraola responded that he has stayed in the United States because it is "the greatest country in the world."