Wake superintendent to meet with groups after latest student racial incident
Posted May 2
Updated May 4
A Snapchat post is the latest in a string of racial incidents within the Wake County Public School System.
The post shows the Apex Friendship High School step team performing during a school pep rally and is captioned "plantation owner watches his former slaves rejoice and celebrate their newfound freedom, circa 1864."
Principal Matt Wight called it a "highly offensive racial remark."
He sent a message out to parents on Monday saying, in part, "I deeply regret that this has happened and want you to know that we are working to address the issue in a positive, constructive way to improve relations with all of our students."
Earlier this year, three Leesville Road Middle School students used racial slurs in an online video recorded off school grounds. Those students were punished.
A week before the Leesville Road Middle incident, in a video posted online, a black student is seen pulling a white student to the ground at Wake Forest High School. The students said his actions stemmed from more than two months of racial slurs and threats against him.
In January, video surfaced on social media that showed Rolesville High School Resource Officer Ruben De Los Santos slamming a black student to the ground, an incident Dr. Portia Rochelle, president of the Raleigh-Apex NAACP chapter, believes was "unreasonable."
"We have kids afraid to go to school because they don't know what is going to happen next," Rochelle said.
She said the NAACP and other advocacy groups are meeting with Superintendent Jim Merrill this week to discuss the recent racial incidents. She hopes it is a step in the right direction to end the hateful posts.
The student responsible for the Snapchat post has been disciplined, according to a school spokeswoman?.
On Wednesday, students at Apex Friendship High will have what school leaders call a “courageous conversation” on race in their homeroom class.
School officials said additional cross-cultural activities were already planned.