Albuquerque High School Students Harass Black Classmate With Racist Photo
Two high school students in Albuquerque, New Mexico, have been suspended after they posted a photoshopped picture of a black student surrounded by classmates wearing Ku Klux Klan hoods on Snapchat.
In a report from local news station KOB 4, the two students posted the photo on Volcano Vista High School’s Snapchat group where it was seen by several other students before being removed. The two students claimed that they only posted the picture as a “joke” but both were still suspended for 10 days (one also was kicked off the school’s football team).
“It was awful,” Mary Morrow-Webb, the mother of the student in the picture, told KOB 4. “It was frightening. I just really got sick to my stomach. I was afraid for my daughters and for the other children there that are at risk for these types of threats.”
“You don’t expect your kids going to school and having to deal with racism and discrimination in 2017,” Lamont Webb, the girl’s father, added. “It’s kind of appalling.”
The Webbs said that they have been reporting racism and bullying their daughters (aside from the girl included in the photo, Webb’s two other daughters also attend the school) have faced over the last three years but nothing has improved.
“We’ve been coming in with complaints of my daughter saying someone called her the n-word,” Webb said. “Someone called her a porch monkey and different things like that on a regular basis.”
In response, Albuquerque Public Schools said that the previous incidents involving racist bullying occurred under another administration and that the school now has a new principal that will make sure something like this “doesn’t happen again.”
“She is adamant that the school is going to be safe for every single student that attends, and I would encourage any parent who has any concerns to contact Ms. [Vickie] Bannerman because she will look into it and they would be heard,” Superintendent Raquel Reedy said.
Bannerman also sent out a letter following the incident saying:
You might want to talk to your child about this incident. Remind them to think twice about what they post to social media. They shouldn’t use the platform to harass, tease or threaten others, and they should remember that everything they post leaves a ‘digital footprint’ that can last forever – even in sites like Snapchat. Hateful, discriminatory or bullying messages and photographs may very well come back to haunt them as they apply for college and jobs.