An altercation at a high school in North Carolina between two students, has resulted in protests and petitions to have one of the students brought back to school following a suspension.
The altercation, which occurred at Wake Forest High School and was caught on video by student Tyler Goodell, shows 15-year-old Micah Speed grabbing Larry Walsh by his backpack and throwing him backwards. As the student gets back up you can hear him say the words “You black piece of s**t,” to which Speed grabs Walsh again and throws him to the ground. A teacher intervenes shortly after this.
Speed was suspended for 10 days following the fight but it has since been reduced to five days.
According to Goodell, Speed was defending himself against racial harassment that he had endured for the past two months.
“He said things like…I need to name my son ‘Convict’ and ‘Crackhead’…because that’s what they’ll grow up to be,” Speed said to ABC 11 about Walsh. “He threw the N-word around very loosely, said things that I looked like I bathed in coffee beans and dirt.”
Speed also reportedly said that Walsh had went as far as threatening to kill his family.
“I want to say I’m not a violent person,” Speed added. “That’s not who I am…Everybody who’s known me and that knows me currently knows that I try to avoid confrontation and I usually laugh things off, but I was just pushed over the breaking point.”
Upon Speed’s suspension, students protested after every period to show their support of him, as well as asked school leaders to bring him back.
An online petition asking for the suspension of Walsh was also started, with the petition gaining 1,300 signatures.
The school district did not offer any other information on the incident, but has said that they are investigating it.