Four White high school students were suspended recently on charges of posting racist social media comments about their newly elected senior class president, according to the Raw Story, citing a report at the Times Union.
Kori Dobbs, who is Black, was taunted with racial slurs—including the n-word—on Twitter almost immediately after she was elected president of the senior class at Albany High School in Albany, N.Y., in late-September, the report says.
Students suggested on social media that the senior prom, which is planned with input from the class president and her cabinet, would serve malt liquor and have a ghetto theme.
About 54 percent of Albany High’s students are Black, the newspaper reports, while about 23 percent are White.
The Raw Story reports:
After students were encouraged to wear black to show school spirit, one of the students said he might “step it up a little and do blackface.”
The student, Christopher Kissane, insisted to the newspaper that his comments were misinterpreted jokes in reference to the TV sitcom, “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.”
“I’m not a racist,” said the senior, one of the four students suspended. The other students did not speak to the media and were not identified.
Dobbs says she did not bring the comments to the attention of school officials until last week. Officials then reviewed screenshots of the posts and ruled that they violated the school’s code of conduct. The students were given in-school three-day suspensions last week and additional suspensions are possible, officials told the Times Union.
“I just couldn’t take the cyberbullying anymore and had to tell someone,” Dobbs told the Times Union. “I was really upset and sad.”