WESTPORT — The Staples High principal has promised to change the school’s culture after a teen’s letter was published online claiming minority students are treated poorly and subjected to racist behavior.

“We are working on identifying bias, being mindful of behaviors, which could be viewed as offensive and ultimately are working toward accepting all students on a more open and consistent basis,” Principal Stafford Thomas wrote in an email to Staples families on Friday night.

His email was in response to a letter written by Staples senior Niah Michel that was published earlier on Friday on WestportNow. Michel claimed she and her friends have faced racism from classmates while teachers and administrators have not done enough to address the problem.

“We as a community feel as if we are nothing to this school. We are treated poorly from the rest of the students, and we are reminded every day that we are not white,” she wrote in the letter.

“Although some black people live in Westport, we are always asked ‘if we live in Bridgeport,’ ‘If this is our real hair,” her letter also stated.

In an interview with Hearst Connecticut Media, Michel said she feels the concerns she and her friends have raised about racism are not being acknowledged by the school community.

“We talk to people and it’s like we’re talking to a wall,” she said.

In publishing her letter, Michel hopes to bring awareness to the problems minority students are facing at the high school.

“I’m personally going to keep striving until almost everyone in Westport knows me and my friends’ stories,” she said. “I’m not giving up.”

Thomas, Interim Superintendent of Schools David Abbey and First Selectman Jim Marpe have not responded to requests for comment about the claims raised in Michel’s letter.

In his email to parents, Thomas said he hopes to build a more inclusive environment by creating a “robust social infrastructure,” comprised of connections between students of different groups.

“A community is a group of people we lean on when times are tough; who are there for each other when we need love, support and encouragement,” Thomas said. “I have seen this with regularity this year, but too frequently, in separate groups. We are going to change this.”

Thomas said the school faces “the same challenges as the community at large, our state and nation, but in a far more confined setting.”

Michel is not the first student who has alleged racism in Westport schools.

Last year, two Staples students wrote essays about their experiences with the issue in school.

One wrote about how throughout middle school and high school, he repeatedly heard his classmates make racist jokes and he had even been the target of some of them.

Another said she wished teachers fostered discussions about racism earlier in the education process.

The essays won prizes in the TEAM Westport Teen Diversity Essay Contest.

TEAM Westport is a town committee that, according to Westport’s website, aims to do what its acronym stands for: Together Effectively Achieving Multiculturalism.

In addition to holding diversity essay contests since at least 2014, TEAM Wesport has a book club that uses titles that address race in America, the website indicates. It has also held anti-racism training sessions.

TEAM Westport is “assisting us (Staples) in our efforts to develop a more inclusive school environment,” Thomas wrote in his email to parents.