A Missouri school district is investigating after a student posted a racist rant threatening to lynch his Black schoolmates, the Springfield News-Leader reported.
The 20-second clip, posted to Snapchat on May 9, shows an unidentified white male student spewing profanity and racist slurs in a warning to Black students to “stay the f–k out of our locker room.” He goes on to accuse them of stealing, before adding: “we should f—-g lynch you.”
“This is for all of the coons, spooks and n—-rs,” he begins. “F–k all of you. It’s a privilege to be in our school. You f—-rs go around like you own the place. F–k all of you.”
The student in question reportedly attends Kickapoo High School in Springfield, Missouri, which has seen a string of racist and homophobic incidents in the past few months.
The video was widely circulated on social media and drew strong reactions from both the Springfield Public Schools district and the Springfield NAACP.
“It took my breath away, personally,” Toni Robinson, president of the Springfield NAACP, told the newspaper. “You’re not surprised but the trauma, the feeling, the emotion that we have been experiencing for generations is relived in that moment.”
Robinson is now pushing for the post to be investigated as a hate crime.
Kickapoo High Principal Bill Powers also issued a statement condemning the student’s unacceptable conduct.
“The last few months have been difficult [for] our school, but together we have an opportunity to rise above the divisive behavior demonstrated by a few vocal students,” Powers said “The vast majority of our Kickapoo family are welcoming individuals with big hearts who work extraordinarily hard to demonstrate kindness and love every day.”
According to the principal, the district took swift action to punish the student in question, assuring parents that officials applied the “maximum scope of discipline.” The student handbook states that threats of violence at the high school level are punishable by up to 10 days of out-of-school suspension, plus a hearing to discuss further punishments.
“The law does not allow us to be specific on the disciplinary actions we have taken, but I assure you that it’s significant and appropriate,” Powers told the News-Leader.
He said also said officials had reported the incident to local police, called the Children’s Division of the Missouri Department of Social Services hotline and requested that social media sites take down the video.
The incident comes weeks after a string of incidents at the school involving homophobic bullying and harassment, local station KY3 reported. Vandals ripped down a poster supporting the school’s LGBTQ community and tossed it into a crowded commons area at lunchtime.
A second poster was ripped down a few days later, according to the News-Leader, and a rally meant to raise awareness about bullying of LGBT students was preceded by a group of Kickapoo teens cruising the parking lot waving a Confederate flag.
Robinson, who noted the outrage of the local community over the video, commended Springfield Public Schools for its swift action to address the incident.
“They took fast action,” she said. “They called within an hour of the incident taking place. They have followed policy in terms of making reports to SPD and informing the public of the situation.”
Watch more in the video below.
@KickapooChiefs #KickapooHS #Kickapoo @springfieldNL the police do not think threatening LYNCHING to the Black & LGBTQIA teens in High School is a POLICE MATTER!!! @SGFPolice pic.twitter.com/G1TJlk1m67
— Vicki Walden 🌻 (@TheVikChick) May 10, 2019