Education

2 Wake County high school students make racist comments in videos

Broughton High School in Raleigh, seen here on Jan. 16, 2015.
Broughton High School in Raleigh, seen here on Jan. 16, 2015. 2015 N&O file photo

Two separate videos posted on social media over the weekend show Broughton High School students using racist language and racial stereotypes, according to the school’s principal.

Elena Ashburn, principal of the Raleigh school, sent a recorded phone call about the videos to Broughton families on Monday.

In one video, a Broughton student talks about Enloe High School in Raleigh, saying she’s “happy” she doesn’t “have to be at that hell hole any more.”

The student talks about “walls infested with curry” and “all the brown people around you.”

“I was just thinking back to the little encounter the other day at Chick-fil-A I had with like all of Enloe, and I just kind of wanted to go up to each and every single one of them and punch them in the throat,” she said on the video.

In the other video, a Broughton student pantomimes sweeping a floor and says, “I’m a f---ing n----r.” Other people can be heard laughing in the background.

Both videos were originally posted on Snapchat, a messaging app that allows users to send private messages or post messages for their followers to see. The videos were reposted by others on Twitter.

Ashburn said in her message to families that the videos violate Broughton’s “high standards for all students.”

She did not identify the students in the videos, citing federal privacy laws.

“But I want to be clear: Anything that causes a disruption to the school environment is subject to disciplinary action,” Ashburn said. “As a school team, we have and will continue to discuss ways to help our students understand the community to which they belong and the responsibilities they have in working with social media.”

Ashburn also said students who had concerns could talk to the school’s counselors.

Last June, Wake County school principals completed a two-day “Beyond Diversity” seminar to help them develop strategies to work with students from different racial and cultural backgrounds.

The training came after several racially charged incidents involving middle and high students between March and May 2017.

Three Leesville Road Middle School students were disciplined for chanting “KKK, KKK” on video. An Apex Friendship High School student was disciplined for a Snapchat post that compared members of the school’s step team to freed slaves. Four Wakefield High School students faced disciplinary action for hanging a teddy bear dressed as Santa Claus from a noose from the school roof.

Meanwhile, a Wake Forest High School teacher was suspended for not stopping the racial harassment of a black student. An Apex Middle School was suspended over a video in which the educator compared a black student to a slave.

Pressley Baird: 919-829-8935, @pressleybaird

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