Local News

WCPSS officials concerned racial incidents are 'beginning to define' district

Posted March 16

— Wake County school principals on Thursday afternoon discussed the recent wave of racially charged incidents in schools, including one that was caught on camera at Wake Forest High School.

Earlier this month, black student Micah Speed was seen pulling a white student to the ground before a teacher stepped in. Speed, who was suspended for the incident, said he had been the target of bullying and racial slurs for weeks before the fight.

Last week, three students from Leesville Road Middle School posted a video in which racial slurs were used. Although the video was not filmed on campus, school leaders disciplined the students for the incident.

The recent videos posted online highlight racial tensions and troubles in the school system.

District leaders said they are not going to run away from the problem.

“We were concerned it was beginning to define us as a school system. This is certainly not who we want to be or who we are, and it’s the reason for the urgency in bringing principals together to really begin to address issues of race in schools,” said Assistant Superintendent for Equity Affairs Rodney Trice.

Principals from around the Wake County Public School System were meeting Thursday for what they said would be a candid talk.

District leaders want to hear what is happening in individual schools in the district.

Ultimately, district officials want to start a larger conversation with the community about race. They plan to deliver short- and long-term plans to address the problems in a meeting with the school board next week.


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  • Jeff Herring Mar 17, 10:26 a.m.
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    Welcome to the land of trump, jesse helms, and republican politics. we used to be better than this, now we are alt-right. bigots just like Alabama.

  • Ken Ackerman Mar 17, 7:19 a.m.
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    It absolutely is. There is one key factor that people never seem to think about. We are not born racist, it's a behavior we are taught.

  • Ken Ackerman Mar 17, 7:17 a.m.
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    My grandson was in a private school here but has since moved out of state. Kids are kids, they model the behaviors they perceive as being rewarded in others.

  • Ken Ackerman Mar 17, 7:14 a.m.
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    It has nothing to do with politics, it has everything to do with behavior kids witness on television and at home. The entire world just watched two years of the worst role model ever get away with encouraging hate and lies. What did he get? Elected President.

  • Michael Bawden Mar 17, 5:52 a.m.
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    Do these incidents occur in private schools and charter schools?

  • John Townsend Mar 16, 11:45 p.m.
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    Good grief. Some people are too obsessed with politics.

  • Thomas Williams Mar 16, 10:41 p.m.
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    Perhaps with Brown vs Board of Education SCOTUS, in their customary wisdom gave the country something that was not necessary, and detrimental to the educational system. We still have academically underperforming schools, and we have more racial strife than ever before. We were told that Brown/Board would in time give us public schools that would be world class. Seems that we have been lied to again by a government agency that "knew what was best for us".

  • Jeff Freuler Mar 16, 6:45 p.m.
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    Racism is a two way street that is pushed from both sides.

  • Ken Ackerman Mar 16, 6:24 p.m.
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    Well as old as I am I still remember attending high school in Rocky Mount. If two incidents have come to their attention then there have been MANY more that haven't.

    I call it the "Trump effect". After all if he can be hateful and untruthful on television and get elected president it must be okay.

    I can tell you for a fact that the problem exists right down to elementary schools.

  • Fred Neopolitano Mar 16, 5:20 p.m.
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    As usual, the media seems to blow things out of proportion. I think it was irresponsible for Mr. Trice to call two incidents "defining the system" .