A video of a North Carolina student spouting racial slurs has blown up on social media, prompting the local school district to take disciplinary action.
The student at South Columbus High School, part of the Columbus County School District, was reprimanded after appearing in the offending video, local newspaper WCET 6 Wilmington first reported.
“Columbus County schools were alerted last week to a video containing racist language being used off campus by a student,” said Columbus County Superintendent Dr. Deanne Meadows, and Columbus County Board of Education Chairman Dr. Ronnie Strickland, in a joint statement shared with The Daily Beast on Monday. “We find the video highly inappropriate and offensive and we understand the pain and outrage it has caused to our students, parents and communities. Disciplinary action has been taken.”
Officials emphasized that the school should be a safe environment for everyone.
“Our doors are always open and we want to build trust and a positive relationship with our students, staff and communities. We know we still have work to do in this area and we have taken proactive steps to realize this vision by adding a position focused on equity, inclusion and diversity,” the statement said .
The local news outlet shared part of the video on its broadcast, but with the student’s face blurred and abusive language cut out.
Mandalay Russ-Bellamy, a 2013 graduate of South Columbus, posted the video in full on her Facebook page. She said current high school students forwarded the video to her from SnapChat.
“This is unacceptable,” she wrote. “A student in South Columbus thinks this is a joke!! This has to find its way to the board and make an example of it. Period!!”
The six-second clip features a white teenager in a long-sleeved shirt that reads “DEDICATION.” The video is watermarked ‘My school [racist] asf.”
The unidentified student walks around a house and says, “I’m with the n——-. Down with the n——.”
He then raises his right fist and chants, “White Power. White power!”
The video has over 4,400 views and 170 comments.
Many in the comments claim the video isn’t the only instance of racism that has plagued the school community in recent years.
“It’s always been an issue at South Columbus High School[.] There just seems to be a lot more coming out now than when we were in school… This is unacceptable,” one person wrote under the video.
“This definitely needs to be stopped and he should be kicked out of school,” wrote another. “His singing sounds violent to me! It’s time for people to stand up for what’s right, and it’s definitely wrong, and someone needs to act!”
In the district’s press release, Meadows and Strickland claimed that district employees receive regular training in maintaining an inclusive environment.
“We cannot control external factors, but we will address them immediately when they affect our schools, and we will continue to educate our students about the importance of treating all people with respect and dignity,” they continued.
“We strive to provide the absolute best for all of our students and will continue to focus on improvements in all areas,” her statement concluded.