A terse stint in jail and probation have been ordered for a South Carolina teenager who was charged in August for threatening to “shoot up the school.”
The 16-year-old former Cardinal Newman High School student was sentenced on Oct. 2 to spend five days in a juvenile jail and serve 18 months of probation following charges of threatening school, The Associated Press reported Thursday.
In addition to vowing to fire upon his Richland County Catholic school, the teen also posted videos that became public in August where he uses the N-word several times and deems himself a “hater of all Black men.” He also filmed himself wielding and firing a shotgun and automatic rifle and repeatedly shot an object on the ground as he pretended it was a Black person.
At one point, the teen, whose name has not been released because he is a juvenile, stared into the camera and stated, “Thank you for watching my PSA. F–k all n—–s.”
Speaking in front of Family Court Judge Robert Guess Wednesday, the teen said the videos were “an attempt at humor” according to The State. Still, he said the clips “do not represent my values or the values taught to me by my family.” He apologized for his actions and deemed them “thoughtless, foolish” and “plain stupid.”
“When I think about the amount of people who have been hurt by my foolish actions, the Cardinal Newman community and the African-American community specifically at Cardinal Newman, I feel terribly sorry, guilty and disgust at what I have done and how that has affected others,” he said.
At a past hearing, the teen to plead guilty to second-degree assault and unlawful communications. A hate crime law doesn’t exist in South Carolina, so the 16-year-old could not be charged for his actions in the footage.
“It’s an absolute shame this state does not have a law against hate crimes,” Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott told WSPA-TV in August. “Our legislators have got to take some action. Look at the turmoil these videos have created in the community.”
In addition to jail time and probation, The State reported that the teen must attend a wilderness intervention program meant to adjust social behavioral skills, such as those he learned on his way to becoming an Eagle Scout. He will also need to keep up racial counseling and complete 100 hours of community service as well as draft an essay on how his acts violated the Boy Scout code. He is also required to avoid disciplinary problems and is barred from visiting Cardinal Newman, from which he was expelled on July 15.
“As a member of a community that believes in the dignity of all people, (he) acted in direct opposition to that fundamental Christian belief,” the school Principal Robert Loia read from a prepared statement. “At Cardinal Newman those actions created an overall atmosphere of fear, anger and dread.”