Students at a Maryland school passed out and traded “N-word passes” on Friday that gave students the fake consent to hurl the racist slur at will, WJLA reports.
Staff at the Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, Md., caught the students with the passes and reported them to school officials. The passes were printed to resemble “Willy Wonka” golden tickets and used a meme that students found online with “N-WORD PASS” photoshopped in.
A student who saw the passes, sophomore Gavin Norman admitted, “It’s a joke that maybe went a tiny bit too far at the most.” He explained that two of his friends brought the passes to school, buts said: “I never touched the passes though.”
NEW: Students caught exchanging "N-word passes" Friday at Churchill H.S. in Bethesda.
The pieces of paper gave passholders "permission" to use the N-word.
MCPS hasn't said how many students/passes were involved. We also don't know if the students were black, not black or both. pic.twitter.com/VN4B2Zx57Z
— Kevin Lewis (@ABC7Kevin) February 12, 2019
The school’s principal Brandice Heckert released an email about the incident:
“I am deeply disappointed and appalled that any student in our school would [choose] to engage in such a racist, hateful act. This behavior is disgraceful and does not reflect the values expected of Winston Churchill students…While I cannot share specific consequences for the students involved, please be assured that they will match the severity of the action and will be in alignment with the Student Code of Conduct.”
Heckert is also trying to get ahead of the controversy and plans to meet with staff and student leaders to “talk about the incident and to discuss what can be done collectively to not only teach acceptance and tolerance, but to also celebrate the different cultures within our community.”
Heckert added, “The PTSA Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, February 19, will solely be an open forum on tolerance, racism, and bias.”