A Florida school district had sympathetic words for a pair of suspected white supremacist students after a video on social media showed them using racist slurs. One of the students was even wearing a white hood that resembled the headwear favored by Ku Klux Klan members. However, all of that is just one big misunderstanding, according to a school district administrator who defended the video as being private and filmed without the intention of being shown to anyone else.
Nassau County School District Assistant Superintendent Mark Durham seemed to defend the students by stating that they hadn’t even started attending Yulee High School near Jacksonville when the video was filmed over the summer, according to a report from local news outlet News4Jax.
“The video was not meant to be shared outside of a small group of friends and it was not targeted at any particular student(s),” Durham told News4Jax in a brief statement. “The two students in the video say they meant it as a joke amongst friends and did not intend for anyone outside of their small group to view it.”
Durham’s words came months after the Snapchat video was shared with a group of students, including a Black student. That led to the two students in the video being confronted over the racist nature of the footage.
Durham said he had no power to discipline the students because they were not yet students at Yulee High School at the time it was filmed. He said the students would not face any form of discipline or punishment
“While schools do have jurisdiction to discipline students for their on-line, off campus behavior under certain circumstances, this case did not meet the criteria,” Durham added. “While the school and district find this type of joke cruel and abhorrent and would discipline the students if legally permissible, the circumstances of this case just don’t allow it. However, the student who sent the video to several, specific students does meet the criteria necessary to punish a student for their on-line behavior. The student was assigned discipline consistent with the district’s code of conduct.”
In case there was any confusion, racist Snapchat videos are most definitely a thing.
The racist episode in Florida was eerily similar to others that recently took place at two Bay Area schools.
At one of the schools, a photo surfaced of two students gleefully reenacting the murder of George Floyd, and at the other, a student had a grand old time dressing as a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
Unlike in Florida, though, the students were punished and their respective schools issued statements expressing disappointment and embarrassment and addressing their student bodies to make sure the racist incidences do not get repeated.