The family of a New York student is demanding action from school leaders after the high school sophomore was the target of a racist post on social media app Snapchat.
One of N’Senga Kinzonzi‘s classmates is accused of taking a photo of her during class and captioning it with the N-word, calling for the teen to be “lynched,” station News 12 Westchester reported. A tearful Kinzonzi, who attends Minisink Valley High School in the New York City suburb of Orange County, spoke publicly about the incident last Thursday.
“I thought maybe he doesn’t know the history, and I thought I would take an educational approach and inform the student about the history behind this hurtful caption,” the honor student said of the post, which appeared in October.
Kinzonzi schooled her classmate on the history of the slur and said he has since apologized. The student in question was suspended for 60 days and the matter is now being handled in family court. However, the teenager’s family has been less than impressed with the school district’s handling of the situation, and says more needs to be done.
“There’s a threat made on her life, and there was a call for others to participate in it,” said mother Nicole Kinzonzi, adding that this isn’t the first time her daughter has been targeted in racist attacks. “The caption said ‘We must lynch her.’ ”
“I want people removed from positions because that would send a message that it ends now, so, and people who are in positions that felt it was OK to ignore and ignore what they saw and listen to their friends or thought about their friends instead of the more global community,” Nicole Kinzonzi told WAMC. “I want them removed. They’re not good leaders, at all.”
Kinzonzi’s grandmother, Drusilla Kinzonzi, has called for more sensitivity training for staff, and more diversity in the school’s administration.
“And if we’re not teaching all of American history, we are not teaching,” she added.
Since the incident, N’Senga Kinzonzi said she’s been flooded with support from fellow students but has also faced harassment. Michael Sussman, a lawyer hired by the family, said it’s time to start demanding resolutions because “we keep coming back to the same place.”
NBC New York reported that the family had a Monday meeting scheduled with Minisink Valley Central School District Superintendent Brian Monahan. Monahan addressed the incident in a statement in December, saying that the “district has no tolerance for hateful language or any type of conduct that endangers the physical or emotional sense of safety and security of our students and staff.”
N’Senga Kinzonzi said she wants to be “the last person in Minisink, in Orange County, in New York, to ever have to, ever have to go through this.”
A lawsuit has yet to be filed.
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