Black parents in Chandler, Arizona are outraged at the decision school officials recently made following the release of a racist Snapchat video on Martin Luther King Day.
Over the MLK holiday, a group of white eighth graders from Santan Junior High School posted a Snapchat video of themselves chanting “F**k all n****ers”. Other statements in the background of the video, such as “Martin Luther King deserved to be killed,” can also be heard.
According to reports, the students who created the racist Snapchat video have not been punished at their school. The school chose to release a statement via email, according to AZ Central.
“While the students’ actions do not fall under the purview of the school, we condemn on the strongest terms the highly offensive language and actions,” wrote Principal Barbara Kowalinski to parents at Santan Junior High School . “Please continue to reach out to your children and discuss the harm of language that is offensive and inappropriate in our community.”
Because the racist Snapchat video was created and posted off campus, authorities reportedly felt that encouraging parents to speak to their children would be the best solution. They school insisted that the public “backlash against the individuals” was more than enough.
The parents of Black students are not satisfied. They are now speaking up for their children who are now reporting that bullying of students of color is growing and the lack of punishment has only empowered racist students.
“Now these students who posted the disturbing video believe they are untouchable and others who think like them feel empowered to spread their hate as well,” one student said to The Atlanta Black Star at an emergency community meeting held by the “Black Mothers Forum.”
“These kids who were inflicting hurt and hate — where are they?” said parent Amber Hutchinson. “In school, in class — unpunished, encouraging other students to become more vocal with their hate speech.”
Another mother compared the act to the school board’s reaction to the Civil Rights era, saying “I felt like I was in 1964 in Mississippi, not in 2018 in Chandler, Arizona.”
Racism persists in schools around the country
Last month Harley Barber, a sorority girl at the University of Alabama, repeatedly said the N-word in a social media post on MLK day and claimed that she could use it as often as she wanted because she was in the South. The New Jersey native was kicked out of both the university and her sorority. Surprisingly, her mother said she deserved it.
Indiana high school student Mat Blood, claims he was dared by his friends to scream “f*** n***ers” into a bullhorn while wearing the Nazi flag around his shoulders. The consequences for the 17-year-old’s actions were swift: He lost his job and is now worried that his parents might lose their jobs too. Blood says his family is ashamed of him.
And, Natalie Martinez, of Georgia State University, was suspended from the school’s soccer team and left school after using the N-word on her Finsta page.
Protecting their children
While Black students make up only 5% of the population at Santan Junior High School parents are determined to speak up for their children after the posting of the racist Snapchat video.
“I feel hurt and frustrated because these are kids that are in her class,” parent Anthony Armstrong expressed to AZ Central. “It’s pretty upsetting that she’s thinking she has these close friends but behind her back they’re yelling the n-word on Snapchat.”
Parents believe that even though this racist Snapchat video was created off campus that should not stop the school district from punishing the children seen in the video.
“We as a community will no longer remain silent while our children are blatantly disrespected, provoked, threatened, neglected and discounted by their peers, teachers and the administration of CUSD due to the deeply rooted, racially charged stereotypes,” said parent Amber Hutchinson.