Over the weekend in a high school in upstate New York, protests erupted after images leaked of several students spelling out the modified slang version of the N-word with their bodies.
According to reports, five individual images combined showed students forming letters on the gymnasium floor at Heuvelton Central School in Huevelton, New York.
Posted in a private group chat, someone shared it with a student, whose mother eventually shared it on Facebook to the outrage of many.
Photos that showed several high school students spelling out a slang version of the N-word with their bodies sparked a protest at the weekend.
Five separate pictures showed the students forming letters on the floor of the gymnasium at Heuvelton Central School in New York.
— ~𝓣𝓮𝓷𝓪𝓬𝓲𝓸𝓾𝓼 𝓣𝓮𝓪𝓱~ (@TeahCartel) February 14, 2022
Debasing Black History Month
“Here is what my girls deal with for Black History Month at Heuvelton School!” posted Amy Chisholm on Feb. 8.
Chisholm’s daughters attend the school and are biracial.
Subsequently, around 50 students protested against racism in Heuvelton on Saturday, decrying the images. In addition, according to reports, students also said that a school sit-in also occurred.
The School Speaks
“We are required by law to protect the privacy of the individuals who have been identified so we cannot provide details about discipline for individual students or any additional identifying characteristics,” a Heuvelton Central School spokesperson said, according to reports.
“We are deeply troubled by this incident, which goes against everything for which our school stands; it is completely contrary to our core values. We are concerned about our students, staff and families who have been affected by this incident, and we are committed to their safety and well-being.”
According to reports, eventually, five students were identified as involved in the incident. However, it was not the first incident of racism at the school.
A History Of Racism
“Sometimes I can’t even go a day without being called the N-word, or just like something, said Mikaylah, the seventh-grade daughter of the parent who exposed the incident, according to reports.
Last week, during a meeting of the Heuvelton school board, additional reports leaked of parents and students recalling other incidents of racial bullying dating over several years.
The school released a statement on Friday, Feb. 11, confirming that the school district is currently collaborating with New York State Police, conducting a separate investigation into the gymnasium incident.
According to reports, the school district also plans to “actively implement” initiatives that will create “a safe and inclusive environment” at Heuvelton Central School.
“While we are horrified by this week’s incident, we are determined to continue our work to create a safe and respectful school community where we can have productive conversations about race and honor multiple perspectives,” according to the statement.
“This event has served as a catalyst for change in our school district, and we understand that we must all take steps towards improving our work for racial equity.”
In a statement on Friday, the Heuvelton Central School District said that the students involved were disciplined following an investigation by school administrators.
“We understаnd thаt some of you аre curious аbout the type of discipline used,” the stаtement continued. “We hope you understаnd thаt we аre required by lаw to protect the privаcy of those who hаve been identified, so we аre unаble to provide detаils аbout individuаl student discipline.”
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