Students face punishment over racist video post

Posted at 11:32 PM, Jun 01, 2016

There’s controversy at Grosse Pointe South High School, where students are under fire for the second racist social media post that has surfaced within the last few months.

A letter was sent out to parents of students, alerting them to the racist video making the rounds on social media.

The school district called it deplorable.

The letter talks about a handful of Grosse Pointe teens, including three South students, choosing to record a video - making offensive and racist comments against blacks - over the weekend.

Officials from Grosse Pointe Schools say the three students received suspensions or separations. One of the students, we're told, was under the influence of alcohol at the time the video was recorded. 

In the video, a student is seen talking about making blacks slaves in order to get alcohol.

In March, six students from South high were suspended five days after a photo on social media showed some with the “N” word scribbled on their stomachs.

The school district tells 7 Action News they are taking this very seriously. Since March, the district has launched a variety of initiatives including group dialog between interracial student groups and development of a multi-cultural studies course. 

Read the full letter sent to parents below:

June 1st, 2016

Dear South Community,

Over the weekend a handful of Grosse Pointe teens, including three South students, chose to record a video that included offensive, racist statements regarding African Americans. While no specific students or members of our community were mentioned in the video, the comments made are deplorable.

Immediately after being made aware of the situation, South administration began contacting students and families. Consistent with the Student Code of Conduct, we are making appropriate decisions regarding consequences for those involved, including student separations from school. We have assured our students that South is built on a foundation that values the contributions of all.

During the past 24 hours, several of our students have approached staff members and administrators indicating that this video, which has been circulated via social media, offended them and made them question the values we hold dear at South.

During my nearly two years here at South, I have been consistently impressed with the depth of compassion and kindness exhibited by our students. I am confident that this incident will provide South the opportunity to stand with a united voice of love and acceptance for all. We will continue to demonstrate that the majority of our students and community members do not accept and will not tolerate such bigotry.

This incident further affirms the need for our continued discourse around diversity, inclusion and race relations. With these topics in mind, we have had sustained dialogue that began in March and will continue well into the future. Weekly meetings and planning sessions have taken place with students from our Black Awareness Society for Education (B.A.S.E.) club. Additionally, we hosted a forum yesterday on these very topics moderated by Dr. Jay Marks from Oakland Schools. Nearly fifty students engaged in meaningful dialogue and strategic planning. In recognition of our student voices, we will be expanding opportunities that facilitate a comprehensive approach to celebrating the diversity of our student body.

Thank you for your continued support of our students, staff, and community.


Moussa Hamka