yall thought i was playin? pic.twitter.com/QmrZp463wr— ?? dokes ?? (@johndokess) May 29, 2018
Welcome to Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, where students play “Hangman” using racial slurs.
Hollidaysburg Area School District became the venue for racism after a racially offensive video emerged showing a teen spelling out the n-word on the white board.
On Tuesday, four underclassmen asked a teacher if they could use the classroom while their classmates watched a movie in another room, according to a local news outlet. The teacher granted them permission and kept an eye on the classroom from across the hall. However, she couldn’t see what the students were writing from her line of sight.
The teens took the opportunity to act out their nefarious deed. While playing the spelling game “Hangman,” one of the students wrote out the n-word on the whiteboard. He was filmed by another student and laughter could be heard from the background.
One student shared the video on Facebook and claimed he knew who the teen in the video was.
“How does the school even let something like that fly or happen?” one student wrote on Facebook. “Truly disgusted. Anyone who knows who’s in the video or had anything to do with it, report it to the school.”
According to the Altoona Mirror, one of the teens reportedly issued an apology on Facebook but the website was unable to independently confirm it.
“I have many black friends and I shouldn’t have used that word. I’m a stupid kid and I was just trying to be funny. I know now that it is not funny and I’m very sorry to anyone offended by the post. It was a dumb mistake and was only to be pointed at one person. Which he is a very good friend of mine. I have no problem with any races. I am a lover of all people,” the unnamed teen reportedly said.
He also named another of his classmate on the post stating he had no idea he was being filmed and that he and his friend were now getting death threats.
Hollidaysburg Superintendent Bob Gildea issued an apology to the community and condemned the racist video.
“The Hollidaysburg Area School District community is deeply disturbed by the offensive actions and related social media posting, which appears to have originated from one of our students,” Gildea said. “We have been in contact with local law enforcement and swift and appropriate action will be imposed on those responsible. This behavior is an embarrassment to our students, staff and community, and we sincerely apologize for all who are offended by the abhorrent behavior of those involved.”
The superintendent also reportedly said the students are cooperating with the authorities, however, the trust between the students and teacher has been damaged.
“Students really need to realize the damage that can be done, not just to other people who are offended or affected by their actions, but also to their own personal future because things that are posted on the internet don't go away,” Gildea said. “There's the expectation in high school of responsibility. There's not going to be a teacher physically beside a student every moment of the day.”
He also said the students will face consequences for their actions but he could not divulge the exact punishment they will face. He also said the district will now consider placing tolerance training in their curriculum, initiate a parent-child group to discuss inclusiveness and hold assemblies to address the issue of racism.
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