School officials in North Carolina have launched an investigation after a Black student discovered vile group chat created by her classmates full of disturbing and racist posts.
According to a local ABC affiliate, this is Cenayia Edwards‘ first year at East Wake High School and when the 14-year-old discovered what her peers were up to she chose to address it head on, despite any potential backlash.
Edwards was first made aware of the group chat by a white friend who informed her that a group of students had created a thread that had taken a decidedly racist turn for the worst.
“I was like, ‘Add me to it,’ because I wanted to see what they were talking about,” she recalled. “And I wanted to have proof that they were talking about this.”
In order to ensure she wasn’t detected, the teen cleverly changed her avatar to a white face. And once she allowed access to the restricted thread, what she saw horrified her.
The chat was brimming with violent anti-Black messages like, “Pullin triggers and shootin n——,” as well as, “Kill n—– babies.”
One person wrote, “#bring slavery back,” while another casually pondered if it would be a good idea to change their screen name to “Black slayer.”
“It’s very scary,” said the child’s mother, Cecelia Pope Edwards, who feared for her daughter’s safety when she was told of the exchanges.
“It made me feel uncomfortable because I’m not sure what my daughter’s up against. Because we’re getting text messages from (Cenayia) being upset while she should be studying in her Honors English class about kids laughing because they think using these words or saying that they’re ‘gonna kill black kids’ and ‘if it ain’t white it ain’t right’; ‘if it ain’t white, burn it.'”
“It made me feel very offended,” said the teen, sharing how when she called out her classmates one person replied with a cartoon meme of a penguin with a gun along with the words, “Shut up n—–.”
Her father, Corderro Edwards, says he and his wife reached out to the school’s principal, noting, “We were supposed to hear something back by Tuesday this week.”
When there appeared to be no sense of urgency in addressing the issue they reached out to the media.
“The principal is still investigating,” a WCPSS spokesperson told ABC 11 in a statement. “It appears that most of the students are from Johnston County, which means the investigation is more complex.”
But the Edwards is determined to see that his child gets the justice she and other Black students deserve, concluding, “I’m going to allow my daughter to be heard. My daughter’s not going be quiet.”
When 14-year old Cannaya found out about the racist group chat some of her Wake County classmates were using, she infiltrated it, then she exposed it. Now, her parents want make sure she’s safe at school. #abc11 pic.twitter.com/Oe76F1DHgK
— Joel Brown (@JoelBrownABC11) October 5, 2019