Parents of Black students at a Florida high school are infuriated after they say their children were suspended for getting into an altercation with a white student who sent them a resurfaced video of two white boys making racist remarks but the students in the video were not disciplined.
“Hold on, you see that?” a boy could be heard saying in a video that has since gone viral, before pointing directly at the camera and stating, “It’s a n-gger.” One of the boys in the video was spotted wearing a KKK-like hood. The clip was said to have been made over the summer but was only just recently shared.
That clip was sent via the social media app SnapChat to several Black students, two of whom play football for Yulee High School in Nassau County near the Georgia-Florida border. The group ultimately confronted the student who sent the offensive video, which led to a physical altercation, Jacksonville’s Channel 4 reported.
In the end, only the Black students and the individual who sent out the clip but did not appear in it were suspended for five days. There were no reported injuries.
A parent who asked to remain anonymous told the news station that the Black students “were defending themselves after being bullied and targeted because of their race.”
“It’s disgusting,” the unnamed parent added. “The fact that this kid that made this vile, nasty, distasteful video is still walking around campus while you have kids who confronted him to defend themselves are sitting at home is two-thirds of the problem.”
Nassau County Schools Assistant Superintendent Mark Durham released a statement defending the suspension: “The district was made aware of a video that was recorded this summer but just recently sent on Snapchat to several Yulee High School students.
The video contained racial slurs and images. It resulted in a physical altercation involving several students. Disciplinary actions consistent with the district’s code of conduct have been given to students involved in the altercation and in sending the Snapchat video.”
Melissa Ricks, whose child plays on the football team, told reporters that she was “enraged” when she got word of the incident and her child’s involvement. “It is 2021 and until people start screaming, nothing is going to change,” the mother said. “I have never felt rage like this in my life. To know that this video was sent directly to my kid and half of my babies that are on this football team. Do you know what that feels like?”
Ricks believes the administration’s approach lacked an anti-racism component, stating that the “issue of outward racism in our school that’s not being brought awareness to.”
She added, “All we need is an administration that cares about the issues and is willing to publicly bring awareness to our students and our community, that they are actively looking for ways and resolutions to bring in the parents, bring in the students, and figure out a way to bring these kids together and stop allowing the separation.”
Players on the football team had intended to skip the game or kneel as an act of dissent. However, the school administration warned them that taking that route would result in them forfeiting the remainder of the season. Instead, student-athletes carried white jerseys onto the field in honor of their two teammates who were suspended.
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