Wake County, North Carolina, schools are dealing with a second racially charged incident in just one week.
This time around the evidence is a video that shows three Raleigh middle school students making racially offensive comments about African-Americans, Latinos and Muslims. According to The News Observer, one can hear the students from Leesville Road Middle School saying, “Go back to the fields of Alabama. Go back to the factories in Mississippi. You don’t deserve freedom.” Another student said, “If you’re in America, we don’t accept” the n-word, Jews, Arabs or Hispanics.”
The group also chanted “KKK, KKK.”
The three students have been reprimanded for their disgusting racist behavior with “appropriate disciplinary action” the school stressed.
A parent brought the video, that was shot and posted off-campus, to the attention of school officials after it was being shared with other students. The News Observer noted that under the school district’s Code of Student Conduct, students can be disciplined for their off-campus activity.
Leesville Road Principal Cindy Kreme on Wednesday left a voicemail message for parents, updating them on the situation.
“Here at Leesville Road Middle School, the expectation is that we adhere to high standards for all students. This video violates those standards, and its messages will not be condoned in our school.”
As stated above, this is one of two racial incidents that have plagued the school district this week. And it appears that this type of racial tension is a persistent issue that needs to be addressed, Tionda Holt, an African-American parent with a child at the school, told the publication. She also told the News Observer that the three students involved only received a three-day suspension and that she went to the school to ask for a harsher punishment.
“That video represents terrorism,” Holt said. “That is inciting hate. Someone could have seen that video and gotten riled up.”
Holt then mentioned how their punishment was a “slap on the wrist” compared with the 10-day suspension initially given to Micah Speed, a Wake Forest High student who pulled a white classmate to the ground after the white classmate called him a “black piece of s**t.” Thankfully, his suspension was reduced to five days.
Speed’s mother told the press and school officials that Micah’s actions were triggered by months of racial harassment and a death threat from the student that were not dealt with by the school.
Letha Muhammad, a Wake parent and leader of the Education Justice Alliance, an advocacy group that promotes reducing school suspensions, told the paper that these incidents should serve as a wake-up call.
“My hope is our school district responds quickly and boldly and recognizes that there are issues around race in our schools,” she said. “It’s not just with students but with faculty and staff.”