Students Push for Disciplinary Action for ‘Racist’ Video

RALEIGH COUNTY, W.Va. (WOAY) – Students in Raleigh County are asking school officials to discipline two teenagers that allegedly posted a racist video.

“The girl who posted it is recording her friend and she’s like, ‘Siri, what’s my name?” explained Harleigh Thompson, a senior at Shady Springs High School “[Siri says back,] ‘your name is–says her name–but you asked me to call you Big Black–and then it says the N-word.”

Harleigh said she saw the video on a fellow student’s Instagram account on April 21. Shocked to hear the language, Harleigh asked the classmate what was so funny.

A week later, Harleigh and other classmates felt that the school wasn’t doing enough about the incident. On Monday, she and a few classmates visited the school board’s offices to discuss the matter with a few staff members.

“It’s nice to know we have students who are passionate about it and want to make a difference in the community,” said superintendent David Price. “There is a right way to go about having those conversations with our students. Them wanting to talk about it and make a difference in the community, I think, is a good thing.”

Price said the school board still cannot comment on the incident because it is a disciplinary matter. Because of this, it’s unclear if officials are treating the video as an act of racism or plan to punish the involved students at all. Still, Price said racism is not acceptable at Raleigh County schools.

In many cases, schools can’t discipline students for things that happen off school grounds or outside school hours.

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Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at ksimmons@woay.com.