Two black students in Ohio claim they have lived through years of overt racist abuse after moving to a new school district in hopes of a better education.
According to WSYX-TV, white students at Pickerington High School North have continuously posted derogatory, racist messages on social media in an attempt to intimidate the girls, on one occasion even going as far as dressing up in a Ku Klux Klan uniform.
“Some of the students think it’s okay and think it’s funny to say the N-word, say jokes about it,” said Roni Cook, a victim of the bullying.
Her mother says she reported the harassment to the school district but received no assistance.
“I didn’t want to call ‘6 On Your Side,’” LaRhonda Cook-Snow told WSYX-TV. “I didn’t want to do that, but when you fought for two years and no one does anything.”
It appears that her last-ditch efforts made all the difference. Due to the heightened media attention, the boy who wore a KKK uniform on Snapchat and the student who took the photo are finally being disciplined by school officials.
Another girl, who posted an image of herself in blackface on social media, captioned with a racial slur, escaped disciplinary action because the picture was not taken on school grounds. However, it remains unclear if a shirtless boy with “former slave owner” painted on his back during an on-campus sporting event has been reprimanded.
“I have my children coming home from school everyday crying, saying, ‘Mommy, I don’t want to go to school — mommy, you got me in this jail,’” shared Cook-Snow, who is dissatisfied by how long it took for her girls to be heard.
Yet administrators claim they have taken “swift and firm action” by punishing the students and have now hired an outside firm to conduct cultural sensitivity training with students.
“Those actions did not reflect the cultural sensitivity that represents the values of the school or district,” said Principal Mark Ulbrich and Superintendent Valerie Browning-Thompson in a letter sent to parents.
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