The Albany (Calif.) School Board voted Wednesday night to expel a student over racist posts and memes posted on an Instagram account.
According to the East Bay Times, the board chose not to discuss the case in public. Board members assembled within Cornell Elementary School and reached their decision after six hours of deliberation. Kim Trutane, Jacob Clarke and Charlie Blanchard voted to expel the student, according to the report.
“A written statement of findings and a rehabilitation plan will be provided to that student’s family within 10 [school days],” said Blanchard.
“We are definitely disappointed in the decision and once we get the findings we will be reviewing them and decide how to proceed,” the student’s attorney, Cate Beekman, said in a statement.
A female student at Albany High School originally discovered the Instagram account several months after its creation. Out of more than a dozen students who were accused of liking or commenting on the racist posts, three students were placed under school board investigation for possible expulsion, and a fourth received a temporary restraining order.
The racist images were directed mostly at African-American female students. Images of the girls basketball coach were depicted with a noose drawn around his neck.
Beekman stated that the expulsion was made under Section 48900.4 of the state education code, which covers intentionally engaging in harassment, threats or intimidation. The education code also stipulates that in order to suspend the student, the district has to find that the student’s presence poses a danger.
Beekman intends to fight that notion, stating, “We don’t believe that is true.”
The East Bay Times reports that the student in question has not received any education since he was initially suspended. As a junior, he would have to appeal to the county Education Department or go to court, seek education at another school within the district or apply to another district.