Two students at a Chattanooga boarding and day school for boys have been expelled after school administrators learned of the students making racial slurs and threatening to burn Black people on a cross.
The students from McCallie School, a school for sixth through 12th grade, also reportedly were making monkey noises in the video that was posted to Snapchat. A local parent of a student at another school saw the video on the social media platform and brought it to the attention of McCallie officials.
“Watch your f***ing step boy, I’ll show you what my ancestors did to your kind. I’ll burn you on a mother****ing cross. You’re a disgrace to your kind, boy,” said the white students in their Snapchat post. “You’re gonna be on your knees calling me master before you know it, boy. F***ing monkey boy (makes monkey sound). Monkey boy (says repeatedly)……..Before you get to see the end of this whip, boy.”
Lee Burns, head of McCallie School, wrote this statement in a letter sent to parents about the incident Monday morning:
“What was said on that video saddens and angers me in many ways, most especially for our Black students, I am sorry for the pain and hurt it caused. There is no place at McCallie for making comments that demean an individual based on race, religion, country, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or any other identity marker. We have an opportunity to use this sad occasion to redouble our efforts to assure that our school community is one of ever-stronger family, belonging and inclusion for everyone and that we are a community of unity, support, respect, and kindness,” Burns continued in the letter.
Rev. Ann Pierre, president of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County chapter of the NAACP, was also made aware of the video and told Local 3 News that she met with the school on Monday and Tuesday to discuss action regarding the students.
“The young men felt that it was acceptable to say what they said,” said Pierre. “So that tells me that this is not the first time. We’re not any of those things. We are people that God made and put on this Earth to reside with the other people.”
The school didn’t release the identities of the students because they are minors. McCallie also has not said if any other students face discipline surrounding the video.
“What about the punishment for the other individuals who knew it occurred and did not say anything about it,” Pierre said. “And one brave soul sent that information out because it was offensive to them.”
The school also released a statement on its Twitter page.
It was unclear if the video was directed at a specific student, but Tonya Rucker, the parent who reported the video, believes it could be a response to the McCallie losing a basketball game to a prominently Black and Latino school. The video reportedly was made over Thanksgiving 2022 break but was not discovered until Thursday, Feb. 2.