A black student at Wake Forest (N.C.) High School says that he was tired of racial harassment and abuse—including threats against him and his family—and that that led him to get into a physical altercation with a white student. Video of the incident shows the black student dragging the other, white student to the ground before the white boy gets up and starts walking away—though not before apparently calling the black boy a “black piece of shit.” The black student then drags the white student to the floor again by his backpack, and that is when a teacher gets involved.
The 15-year-old black student ended up being suspended from school for 10 days, a suspension that was later reduced to five days, according to WNCN.
In the video, the teacher can be heard dismissing the black student’s anger, saying that the white student “only used his words.”
The video was originally shared on Instagram on Friday by Tyler Goodell, who said that he was a student at the school and the black student’s friend. Tyler said that the black student was defending himself against harassment that has been going on for months, according to the News and Observer.
By Monday, students at the school had rallied around the black student, filming video in which they can be heard chanting in favor of ending his suspension.
The black student’s mom told WNCN that she had moved to Wake Forest for a better life for her family, but that now she is worried about her son.
“How am I going to send my son back to Wake Forest is what I want to know ... because I’m sending him back to the shooting range is what I’m doing. So I’m totally clueless; I don’t know what to do,” she said. “I’m angry that the school doesn’t take care of their children better than they did.”
The principal released a statement urging parents, “Encourage your children to not share rumors,” and saying that if a child has information to share to contact administrators directly as they continue an investigation into the incident.