The white high school students behind a racist Snapchat video now regret their actions after receiving punishment from school officials and threats online.
The mother of one of the students said the boys were suspended and kicked off a school sports team, and they’ve received death threats over the racist video, the Winston-Salem Journal reported Thursday.
She claimed to have reinforced the discipline handed down to her son from the school by also punishing him at home, but she fears for her son’s safety.
Four male students from Ronald Reagan High School in Pfafftown, North Carolina appeared in the 10-second clip in which at least one of them shouts the N-word multiple times. The mother said they recorded it inside a truck on school grounds Wednesday.
The parents of an African-American junior at the school said their daughter was upset and in tears over the racist video, and they were considering removing her from the school, according to WXII-TV.
“For me it hits and it tears me from the inside out. So, for someone to say it’s just a word, it’s bigger than that, it’s a very hurtful word. It’s a very dangerous word to use in this day and age,” Roderick Peoples said.
Peoples added that the punishment the boys received from school administrators doesn’t go far enough, and the incident should prompt a coming together to address racism in school that’s typically forgotten shortly after the incidents.
Indeed, this comes on the heels of a high-profile case involving white University of Oklahoma students who dressed in blackface and used racial slurs in a video. The Oklahoma students and many other offenders like them apologize for their racist videos, but these incidents keep happening.
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Superintendent Beverly Emory said in a statement that the video is unacceptable.
“The language and behavior in this video is alarming. It is offensive and simply not acceptable in our district. We work daily to create an atmosphere that respects and honors all students. Regardless of the motivation or intent, such behavior affects us all,” she stated.
One of the boys, 16, insisted that he now understands that his behavior was wrong and regretted making the video.
“I have learned a life lesson from this,” the teenager told the newspaper, adding that he’s not a racist. “I am truly sorry for anyone that I have hurt or offended,” he said.
One can’t help but wonder if his regret really stems from the backlash.