New Jersey’s Gloucester County Institute of Technology became the focus of racial tensions after several students allegedly wore Confederate flag clothing and bullied their African-American classmates in response to students who wore black during Spirit Week in protest of racial inequality.
On Monday, members of the African American Culture Club met with Gloucester County NAACP President Loretta Winters in order to explain what had happened and look for ways to move forward.
According to club members, students had decided to wear black on “America Day,” when students were encouraged to wear red, white, and blue. The black clothing was meant to be a form of silent protest and a show of solidarity with Black Lives Matter, but it ended up causing a backlash against the students.
“Many have been called the N-word to their face,” the students said. “Someone was told if they don’t like discrimination, they should bleach their skin. Others have been spit on.”
One student even posted on Snapchat calling for anyone with Confederate memorabilia and clothing to wear it in response to the protest, which prompted the students involved to decide to continue wearing black.
In a letter to parents on Friday, Principal Jamie Dundee addressed the situation, referring to comments that had been made during Spirit Week.
“The administration was informed of various comments that were of an alarming nature,” Dundee wrote. “As the investigation unfolded, we learned that a group of students posted comments over social media that contained racial and defaming slurs.”
The school is investigating, but Superintendent Mike Dicken could not say how many students were going to face discipline.