The surfacing of a video in which students are heard chanting “crack (N word)” has rocked an elite prep school in New York, according to multiple reports.
Administrators at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School in the Bronx, once viewed as a stronghold of progressive beliefs, learned of the video because it was being used in a dispute and then went viral, according to the New York Daily News, which published the video. The development comes just a few weeks after a blackface video surfaced involving students at Poly Prep County Day School in Brooklyn.
In a letter sent to parents on Monday, Fieldston head Jessica Bagby wrote, “We recently learned about the existence of video made a few years ago that involves several ECFS students and one former student using racist, homophobic, and misogynistic language in clear violation of our community values and expectation.”
One student withdrew from Fieldston as a result of the school’s discovery of the video and other students are receiving varied responses based on their involvement, according to a Bagby’s letter.
The Monday note was a follow up to another send Feb. 13th in which Bagby and Nigel Furlonge, principal of the upper school, gave details of the developments, The New York Times reported.
“The anguish and outrage so many of us feel cannot be overstated enough,” that note read. “We have a strict no-tolerance policy when it comes to acts of bias and hate speech.”
Student groups have been meeting to discuss the development, faculty members asked to attend a racial justice seminar and parents were directed to educational sites, the New York Post reported.
One Black student interviewed by the Daily News said white students were attempting to minimize the potential effect of the video.
“They’re saying it was a long time ago, kids will be kids, boys will be boys kind of thing,” the student said.
He said suggested it also is a reflection on the school overall. “The biggest issue would have been, obviously, why wasn’t this problematic to you before?”