Education

Wake schools 'committed to address the racial tensions' after student videos surface

Posted March 14

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— Wake County school leaders met Tuesday afternoon to address two separate incidents involving racial slurs that have raised concerns among students and parents.

Earlier this month, a video showed an altercation between two students at Wake Forest High School. In the video, posted to Instagram, black student Micah Speed is seen pulling a white student to the ground before a teacher steps in.

Speed, who was suspended for the incident, said he got into the fight after months of being targeted with racial slurs.

His mother, Yolanda Speed, said her son should be chastised in some way, but that he was not the bully in the situation.

"This is seriously happening and people are only paying attention now because it was caught on video, that's it," said Yolanda Speed.

Last week, in a separate video recorded off school grounds, three Leesville Road Middle School students used racial slurs in an online video. Those students were punished.

"Those are our students and those students come to our school and interface with other students," Wake County school board chair Monika Johnson-Hostler said.

After the racially charged online videos, the local NAACP chapter is calling for a meeting with Wake County School superintendent Jim Merrill and others.

“Two of the most recent publicized incidents involve middle school and high school students captured on video. We must send a strong signal that this behavior is unacceptable,” said Gerald Givens Jr. with the Raleigh-Apex NAACP branch.

Monika Johnson-Hostler is also speaking out.

“We are just as disheartened. The words I heard used earlier, many of what we heard and seen are absolutely horrific and reprehensible,” Johnson-Hostler said."Today I am here to say we are absolutely committed to address the racial tensions in our school system."

Johnson-Hostler said there are plans to talk about the issues in a meeting with district principals Thursday.

"This is something that clearly has been on the hearts and minds of myself as the board chair," she said.

Short and long-term possible solutions will be delivered by the superintendent next week and the local NAACP chapter has it's own forum planned for the weekend.

6 Comments

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  • John Smith Mar 15, 10:19 a.m.
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    And in other news: Wannabe Gansta Rapper Snoop just posted a video portraying himself assassinating the president and everyone's ok with this? Dark suit, white shirt, red tie, orange skin, blonde hair and his name in the video is "Ronald Klump". THAT's how racial tensions are fueled.
    What would've happened if a white country singer had reversed that image 8 yrs ago?

  • John Jones Mar 15, 9:59 a.m.
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    My son is a senior in high school and he has shown me several videos of his black friends on Instagram and snap chat. I can honestly say I was appalled at the racist language and dialeck they use. Unbelievable how these people can graduate high school. They can't even put together a complete comprehensive sentence.

  • John Townsend Mar 15, 6:56 a.m.
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    The article isn't clear on the point that the leesville students being punished for an online video made off campus. Who punished them and if it was the school, what gives them the authority to punish speech that occurred off campus and not at school? Do some actual reporting Big 5.
    .
    In the first incident, the mom of the aggressor's reaction and the sympathetic reporting by focusing on the allegations of racial bullying simply encourages anyone who physically attacks someone in school to claim to have been bullied and assuming the aggressior's claim it true, it encourages using violence to settle such problems as a first resort.

    Overall, very thinly reported in both cases.

  • Marlene Watson Mar 14, 10:54 p.m.
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    Kids learn what they see
    Respect is not something u see in schools today

  • Steve Clayton Mar 14, 9:19 p.m.
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    “We are just as disheartened. The words I heard used earlier, many of what we heard and seen are absolutely horrific and reprehensible,” Johnson-Hostler said.
    I guess she has never been around students of any race and heard their vocabulary.

  • Jeff Freuler Mar 14, 9:06 p.m.
    user avatar

    Maybe the NAACP needs to educate their own about using racial slurs. NAACP is nothing more than an organization of racist bullies.