An Oklahoma teen is demanding answers after a photo of her brother was turned into a racist meme and shared on social media.
Ashley Dawn Warner said she was fuming when she saw the photo of her brother, who was dressed in a black and white striped prison uniform as part of a play put on by a mentoring program at his school in Chandler, Okla. It was the caption that sent Warner over the edge, which read “N—– for auction in Chandler, Oklahoma, starting bid $50.”
Below the photo was a Confederate flag emoji.
“My blood is absolutely boiling,” Warner wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday. “… This is from another student’s Snapchat. My brother is dressed up for Positive Peers [program], as they’re putting on a production for the school called Teen Forum. He was being taken to jail in this scene and this is what another student posted. This is just ridiculous!”
Warner went on to slam Chandler Public Schools for what she perceives as a lack of effort to address bullying among students, saying she herself was bullied “all throughout” school. Ironically, the incident involving her brother happened during a program meant to educate students on the importance of positive peer relationships, local station KOCO reported.
“I know bullying happens … but it seems to happen a lot more in Chandler Schools than it should,” she wrote. “I’m not sure if this is a result of piss-poor parenting, or if the school needs to do something regarding bullying or both; but this kinda crap isn’t acceptable. I’m so sick of this racism sh-t and disgusted that it’s 2018 and we still let our children call other children ‘n—–s.’ Absolutely unacceptable.”
In an update, Warner said she learned the student who snapped the photo and wrote the offensive caption was suspended, though she’s unsure if any other disciplinary action will follow.
Chandler Public Schools issued a statement addressing the incident:
“… This behavior is not repetitive of Chandler Public Schools, its staff members or its students. The District has no tolerance for hateful depictions and captions regarding any student and has and will continue to address this unacceptable, despicable behavior whenever it occurs. In addition, districts officials will lean in with an even greater emphasis on educating students regarding no tolerance for actions or words that threaten, harass or bully others because of color.”
“Our deepest apologies are extended to the student who was the victim of this shameful behavior by another student. As a district, we will do our utmost to support this student and the student’s family in standing against actions and speech that hurts and belittles other individuals.”