Four videos containing what officials describe as racist and hate-filled language have prompted an investigation at a Massachusetts high school.
Last week, Brookline High School officials sent a letter home stating they were aware of two “deeply disturbing” videos allegedly made by current and former Brookline students, local station WCVB 5 reported. The school caught wind of the first video on Nov. 22, and learned of a second video just a week later. District leaders weren’t made aware of the footage until Nov. 29, however.
The first clip, which was sent to a member of the school’s African-American Scholars group, shows a group of young men repeating the N-word over and over again. The second video shows several white students in a car referring to their driver using the same racial slur.
“We are disgusted and deeply disturbed that any member of the BHS community would make such vile, hate-filled videos,” wrote Anthony Meyer, headmaster of Brookline High School, and Andrew Bott, superintendent of Brookline Public Schools, in the letter.
“They degrade, dehumanize, and diminish our community … They make many students feel unsafe and unsure of their standing in the BHS community,” they continued.
The offensive videos sparked two student walk-outs on Nov. 30, according to Wicked Local Brookline, after which two more videos containing racist rhetoric came to light. The school has since launched investigations into all four clips. So far, the student responsible for the first video has been identified, but school administrators have remained tight lipped about how that student was disciplined.
“Students who are found to have broken school rules get significant consequences,” Meyer wrote in an email update to parents on Dec. 1. “While students and parents often ask us to announce any consequences, public school officials must follow state and federal privacy laws. We cannot publicly release information related to the discipline of any student.”
“As I’m sure you agree, these latest revelations are incredibly frustrating. I worry about our
students, our school, and our community,” he added. ” We’ll continue to work with students and families to identify concrete steps we can take to make Brookline High School a safe and supportive community for every single one of our students.”
Despite their efforts, students like freshman Ramon Perez said they feel unsupported by the school and school administrators. Perez told Wicked Local he would like to see school leaders call the issue what it is: outright racism.
“I want them to accept that it’s racism,” he said. “I want them to say it’s racism.”
The incidents are currently being investigated as a police matter, and a Title VI civil rights and harassment probe is also underway