Teens answer if they would report racist behavior at school

Teens answer if they would report racist behavior at school

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - In the case of a 16-year-old Cardinal Newman School student who was arrested after deputies said he threatened to "shoot up the school,” the video circulated on social media.

In a letter sent to parents of Cardinal Newman School students Sunday night, Principal Robert Loia said the school discovered a video on July 13 made by a student who made threatening and racist comments.

School officials said they let the student's parents know they planned to expel the student and then the child's parents withdrew him.

Officials said they found another video on July 17 while they were investigating. The student was arrested and charged with making threats.

WIS chose not to air the video. However, we wanted to find out reasons why teenagers may not tell their parents or authorities when they see behavior they know is wrong.

One teen we interviewed recognized that he used to go to school with the student in the video. Jackson Ingram said he has attended both private and public school.

"Stuff like this happens all the time, so you don't really know if it's a joke or not, so you don't know should I say something, should I not,” said Ingram.

We asked Ingram and 13-year-old Isis Hardy, who are not students at Cardinal Newman, the following five questions about reporting racist behavior at school:

  • Would you report it if someone used the N word at school? One teen said yes, the other teen said no.
  • What about if someone said they hate people from a particular race? One teen said no, the other said probably.
  • What about if someone used a racial slur? One teen said yes, the other said no.
  • What if they want to kill people of a certain race? Both teens said yes.
  • What if someone said they want to physically hurt another student? One teen said no, and the other said it depends.

“I feel like people don't speak up because everyone is always saying it,” 13-year-old Isis Hardy said, “and thinking that it's regular and that it's ok, and the teachers don't really do anything about it, and parents don't know what to do about it either because that is not their child."

You can read the letter sent from Principal Loia below:

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