Black Florida school kids suspended for fighting White teens wearing KKK hood in clip
Some African-American students, who reportedly confronted White classmates seen in a racist video featuring a mock Ku Klux Klan hood and the N-word, were suspended from a Florida high school. Meanwhile, the students in the video were not disciplined in any way, sparking outrage among parents and others.
According to Jacksonville's Channel 4, the confrontation took place after Black students at Yulee High School in Nassau County received the video from a classmate on Snapchat. The clip in question showed a couple of White teens, one of them wearing a mock KKK hood. "Hold on, you see that?" one of the teens says in the video, pointing at the camera. "It's a (n-word)." The group of Black students who received the video confronted the two students who appeared in it and as a result, got suspended for five days. However, no such suspensions were imposed on the two White students seen in the clip. Parents are now planning a protest beginning with the homecoming football game to stress the unfairness of the punishment doled out.
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Black football players banned from protesting
Amongst the suspended Black students, two were members of the football team, and their teammates reportedly considered taking a knee in protest during their game on October 22 or skipping the game completely. However, the school administrators informed them that if they did so, they would have to forfeit the remainder of the season, Channel 4 reported. As a result, the teammates decided to hold two white jerseys in the air as they took the field, which was meant to represent suspended teammates.
Parents said the Black students "were defending themselves after being bullied and targeted because of their race". "It's disgusting. The fact that this kid that made this vile, nasty, distasteful video is still walking around campus while you have kids who confronted him to defend themselves are sitting at home is two-thirds of the problem," one parent told the station.
Melissa Ricks, one of the parents, said that she was "enraged" when she found out that her son was among those who received the video. "It is 2021 and until people start screaming, nothing is going to change," Ricks said. "I have never felt rage like this in my life. To know that this video was sent directly to my kid and half of my babies that are on this football team. Do you know what that feels like?"
School district defends suspension
Mark Durham, the school district's assistant superintendent, issued a statement saying: "The district was made aware of a video that was recorded this summer but just recently sent on Snapchat to several Yulee High School students. The video contained racial slurs and images. It resulted in a physical altercation involving several students. Disciplinary actions consistent with the district's code of conduct have been given to students involved in the altercation and in sending the Snapchat video."
Although the altercation became physical, it did not result in any injuries, according to Durham. He added in a second statement: "Nassau County School District and Yulee High School want to make it clear that acts of discrimination based on race will not be tolerated on our campuses or toward our students. Individuals committing such acts will be subject to disciplinary consequences. We recognize that many students were negatively affected by the content of this video and the school is prepared to support their needs."
The district confirmed that the student who sent the Snapchat video was not one of the students who appeared in it. "The Nassau County School district confirmed with News4Jax that the video sparked a fight when a few students, including some on the football team, confronted the teen who sent them the video," the news station reported. "The district says that students involved in the altercation and their classmate who sent out the clip were suspended."