If you are keeping up with the latest in the culture wars, then you know that schools across the country are caught in the middle. However, the only casualties have been the students sitting in the classrooms. Black Georgia high school students planned a protest against racism in their school but got suspended for speaking up.
Last week at Coosa High School in Rome, Ga., a group of white students flew a Confederate flag on a school spirit day and used racial slurs, according to WRAL. Student organizers say the school, which doesn’t allow Black Lives Matter paraphernalia, didn’t do anything about the incident, so they decided to plan their own response for Friday.
Before the protest could even happen, an administrator announced over the intercom on Thursday that school officials found out about it and would take disciplinary action against participants.
From CBS 46:
Black students along with white and Hispanic students went to the front office, as requested, to talk to administrators about the protest plans and hand over any flyers promoting it. Students tell CBS46 that they began to argue with administrators about the lack of disciplinary action taken against students using racial slurs.
The Black students say they were suspended. Some white students tell CBS46 they were disruptive and argumentative with administrators but they were not suspended, only Black students, according to the student protestors. By Friday, they joined together to protest outside the school throughout the day, most of them were suspended. Others chose to skip, with the permission and support of their parents.
Students of various ethnicities participated in the demonstration on Friday. Parents and student organizers claim that only Black students were suspended for their involvement.
“All the African Americans they suspended them, and they didn’t suspend them,” Lilyan Huckaby said to CBS46 while pointing toward white and Hispanic students. “They didn’t suspend me and I was yelling and loud. It’s because I’m white,” she said.
A few Black parents told CBS 46 that sheriff’s deputies came to their homes to tell them their children had been suspended. One parent said an officer actually pulled her over while she was driving. Another parent claimed that she complained to the administration about prior racist incidents at the school and nothing has been done about it while all three of her children were suspended for the protest.
The suspensions extend from Oct. 8 through Oct. 22, causing some of the students to miss homecoming.
WRAL reports that the majority of students suspended in the Floyd County School District this past year were Black students. The school district has not responded to requests for comment.