The Oregon City School District is investigating after a Snapchat video emerged over the weekend of two students blasting racial slurs in a rant directed at Tom Lovell, the principal of Oregon City High School, KATU reports.
According to the report, the video emerged on Twitter over the weekend.
"What about n—gers?" someone can be heard asking in the background.
"Tom Lovell is a f—king n—ger who arranges five n—gers a day coming into the school at OCHS!" one student responds. "F—k him!"
As KATU notes, Lovell responded to the video on Twitter by saying that this was "[e]xactly the type of negative behavior we are trying to stop. It won't be tolerated. There will be severe consequences for this."
On Monday the school district released a statement saying that an investigation is underway and that the students involved "will face disciplinary action up to and possibly including expulsion."
"School administrators will also work with the students involved to make this situation a teachable moment and assist them in efforts to repair the pain caused by their actions and words," the statement continued.
According to KATU, the video was shared on Twitter from Snapchat by Marcus Hasan, a former student at the high school.
"It made me feel kind of sick because no one should be using [the n-word]," Hasan told KATU. "When I saw the video, I just felt like I needed to post it because all the racist stuff that's been going around in Oregon City, and I don't think, like, everybody really knows what that word means and why they shouldn't be saying that."
According to KATU, Hasan's girlfriend was the victim of racist backlash earlier this year after wearing a Black Lives Matter shirt to school. She later found a note at her house reading "Go back to picking cotton, n—ger" and "Black lives doesn't matter [sic]". She posted a picture of that note to Twitter, which also went viral.
Back in October, Oregon City High School students planned a walkout after a photo of white OCHS students went viral in which the students were holding a sign reading, "Welcome back to the farm, n—ger."
The parents of one of the students involved in the latest rant released a statement calling their son's actions "deplorable." They then went on to say that their son apologized for his words and that he will be "engaged in organizations and/or programs that promote equality and tolerance."
Read the family's full statement below:
The incredible lack of respect displayed for Principal Lovell and others in that video is deplorable. We do not condone that kind of speech or hateful message about any race, religion, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation. We are a multi-racial family of faith and the content of that video was deeply hurtful to us on a spiritual and personal level. The abhorrent views expressed in that video are not consistent with the values we live by or teach our children.
Our son apologizes for his role in this event and deeply regrets the part he played in disseminating that hateful message. He has never used that kind of language or expressed views similar to those in our presence. He knows that the language used and the opinions expressed in that video contradict everything we believe in and have taught him. He also knows he never should have been a part of that incident. A review of his limited social media forums show that he had not engaged in hateful rhetoric prior to this event. This in no way eliminates accountability for [our] son for this particular incident. By not exercising good judgment, this mistake has taught him an invaluable life lesson about the power of words and the responsibility to use your words to build a better society for all to coexist.
As his family, we are supporting our son in his efforts to show his community how remorseful he is over this situation and to help repair any damage his actions have caused. His social circle includes people of all races. He recognizes that those relationships may have been irreparably damaged by his participation in the video. He never meant to hurt anyone. He understands that his actions may make it difficult for people to accept him or believe that he is sincerely sorry for his actions, but he is taking responsibility for this lapse in judgment while enduring the consequences of his wrongdoing.
This incident came as a complete shock to us. We are actively involved in the lives of our children and maintain an open communication policy with both of them. There is no topic that is off limits. Rather, we encourage our children to discuss anything that comes to mind and to examine all points of view before forming an opinion while being accepting of opposing views. We apologize for our son’s actions and want you to know that we take this incident seriously. As a result, we have made some decisions for our son that will drastically change his current social circle. He will be engaged in organizations and/or programs that promote equality and tolerance.
Read more at KATU.