Student Disciplined for Racist Video
Updated: Nov 17, 2022
South Columbus High School students and parents were on edge Monday after a racist video was circulated at the school last week.
Superintendent Deanna Meadows and Board Chair Dan Strickland issued a statement decrying the video, and said that any form of intolerant behavior in the county school system will not be tolerated.
“Columbus County Schools was made aware last week of a video containing racist language being used by a student off campus,” the statement read, “We find the video highly inappropriate and offensive and we understand the hurt and outrage it has caused among our students, parents and communities. Disciplinary action has been taken.”
Neither details about the video, the student’s name, or what type of action was taken were not released.
Additional law enforcement officers were reported on campus Monday, said Kelly Jones of the school system. Their presence “was misinterpreted by some,” Jones said.
It is not known if the alleged threat was a direct response to the video, or if the two incidents were in any way related.
The schools are working to improve communications and create a “a place of safety and belonging for every child and adult,” the statement said.
“Our doors are always open, and we want to build trust and a positive relationship with our students, staff and communities. We know that we have work to do in this area, and we have taken proactive steps to fulfill this vision by adding a position focused on equity, inclusion and diversity.”
The schools use a student advisory council to stay abreast of issues, as well as providing training both for each school’s staff and systemwide.
“Our District Strategic Plan has inclusion as a primary component,” the report said.
The controversial video was made off campus and brought in by a student, Jones said. Meadows and Strickland noted that the system cannot prevent students from sharing such material on campus, but staff responds quickly when they become aware of a problem.
“We cannot control outside factors, but we will address them immediately when it affects our schools,” the statement said, “and we will continue to educate our students about the importance of treating all people with respect and dignity.”