A community is appalled at a conversation between freshman students at Allen Park High School that went well past the lines of hate speech.
The father of one of those students, a police officer, says he is devastated.
He says if it can happen to his family, it can happen to anyone.
“You can imagine my shock to find out that my son was involved in such a horrendous act of hate speech,” says Allen Park Police Sergeant Wayne Albright.
He is talking about his freshman son Braden and a conversation on Instagram that came to light Wednesday.
Braden and another student were allegedly reacting to a video of a fight between two black students, with one saying: *expletive n-word”, and at one point suggesting a purge - adding: “if it ever happens, our plan is to kill all trans, gays and n-words.”
They go on to talk about how to hide the bodies.
“Why did he do this? I don’t have an answer. To answer that question, (is his son racist) I can unequivocally say, no. Absolutely not,” Albright says.
Many who don’t know him are outraged, expressing it both on social media and through calls into our newsroom.
Allen Park Schools say they are investigating and will punish Albright and the other student, sharing this message with parents:
This morning, Allen Park Public School administrators were made aware of a conversation two Allen Park High School students had through a social media platform that another student reported, containing racial and homophobic slurs, and contriving violent acts. The Allen Park Public School District takes matters of racism, intolerance and discrimination seriously. We recognize that hateful remarks and acts in and out of school are dangerous, disturbing and disruptive.
We are taking this matter very seriously as we investigate, and while the district cannot discuss individual student discipline due to FERPA restrictions, appropriate disciplinary measures will be taken. While the incident appears to have occurred off school property and after school hours, the Allen Park Public School District wants to make it very clear this will not be tolerated. We are extremely disappointed by the students' behavior and want to emphasize that it does not reflect our values of ensuring all students are able to learn in a safe and caring environment, where all students are respected.
Allen Park High School is a "PeaceKeeper" campus and the students and staff have worked hard toward achieving that goal. We will continue to reinforce a positive culture of inclusion so that every child can reach their potential and will use this incident as a learning opportunity to improve our overall school climate and culture. We are not alone in the mission to create acceptance and equality, and we need a community of voices that simply do not tolerate hate.
“I can expect backlash. We have. We’ve had lots of backlash. People want, people want justice,” Albright says. “In my view, he’s going through it right now. I mean he’s been off school. I mean he’s a freshman. Whether he can finish school or not, I don’t know if that’s going to be possible.”
And while the sergeant says he and the parent of the other student, who is a school administrator, have not used their jobs to influence and don’t expect special treatment.
“When I was brought into the office, I was brought in like every other parent and i was treated as such,” Albright says.
He hopes there can be learning, for his son, other students, and parents.
“There’s a lesson for teenagers, whatever’s written down, it’s out there forever. And you have to. You just have to stop and think, is this appropriate? Am I going to offend somebody? Am I going to hurt someone’s feelings? Is somebody on the other end of this that may get this, feel that they are being threatened in some way?,” Albright says. “My message to parents would be, and it’s a hard lesson for me to learn because it just happened to me and I was the last family I ever thought this would happen to. I have to be more involved with my kids.”