St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York has suspended its cheerleading squad after a video posted to Twitter shows some members saying the N-word while singing along with a rap song, the college’s president explains in a letter to students. This latest incident comes just a few weeks after two other Fisher students were suspended after damaging a statue of Frederick Douglass in downtown Rochester and charged with criminal mischief.
Fisher President Gerard Rooney said he suspended cheerleading activities indefinitely, pending an investigation, after the online video shows the women singing along with a verse from Meek Mill‘s song “Dreams and Nightmares” in which the group recites the N-word three times.
“As a campus community, we will not support acts or behaviors that are not consistent with the values espoused in our mission statement and in the Fisher Creed,” Rooney told Rochester First.
Weeks ago, St. John Fisher suspended John Boedicker and Charles Milks following the theft of the Frederick Douglass statue in Rochester. The men allegedly ripped the statue from its base at Tracy Street and Alexander. Witnesses say they were yelling racial slurs at the time.
In a statement, Rooney said: “Effective immediately, two students allegedly involved in vandalism of a Frederick Douglass statue have been suspended from the college. The suspension will continue until the legally mandated student conduct hearing addressing this matter is completed. We have taken the strongest possible action available to us at this time. In addition to continuing to follow the College’s own Student Conduct Process, the administration will cooperate fully with members of the law enforcement community.”
On Monday, Boedicker and Milks appeared in court. While Boedicker denies using racial slurs, he says he and Milks’ actions were a mistake due to intoxication, adding that the two had reached out to the sculptor to apologize and help with repairs.