Several dozens of students at South Hadley High School staged a walkout this week following a racist and homophobic video shared by a classmate via social media.
Marching from the school to nearby shopping plaza on Thursday, many of the students wore red as a symbol of unity against the offensive video, according to MassLive. Many documented the walk out on their phones as passersby honked their horns in support.
The video sparking students’ outrage was posted on popular social media app Snapchat and featured an underclassman at the school spewing racist and homophobic language, with a large American flag serving as the backdrop. The video was initially shared with a limited reach on the app, but quickly spread to other social media platforms
“Black lives don’t matter,” the female student says in one video. “They should be out there picking my cotton, and they should do my [expletive] work for me.”
“I think I’m living pretty good,” she continues. “Like, all my friends are white, none of them are gay and we drink on the weekends … we all Juul [a nicotine vape device,] it’s actually a pretty good life. I’m not a piece of s—t. And any queer, any Black person, that is a piece of s–t because black people literally look like s–t.”
School officials have declined to release the girl’s identity but said she’ll face disciplinary action, according to MassLive. That, however, has not stopped a Twitter user from posting a clip of the snapchat video along with info to contact the school.
Students said the goal of their walkout was to make a clear distinction between the racist views of one student and the rest of the school community.
“We decided to walk because the video was very vulgar, had very explicit terms,” said Calvin Bridges, a senior at the high school who participated in the walkout.
Fellow student Amirah Sheehan-Miles echoed Bridges’ sentiments, saying she was appalled by the girl’s language.
“When I saw it, I was shocked that such a young girl in, like, my town, my school could say such harsh things and have that mindset,” she told the news site.
Students faced an afternoon in detention for their protest but said it was well worth the risk.