High School

Michigan high school students face suspension for racist video rant

Grosse Point High School South in Grosse Point Farms, Mich.

Grosse Point High School South in Grosse Point Farms, Mich.  (Google Street View)

Three Michigan high school students face discipline over a recorded video that included racist statements about African-Americans, officials said Wednesday.

Grosse Point South Principal Moussa Hamka said in an email to students, parents and teachers that the comments in the video, which circulated on social media, are “deplorable” and violate the school’s conduct code.

Hamka said several students found the video offensive and officials said those involved in the video could face consequences.

Melba Dearing, 18, a senior at the high school, told the Detroit Free Press Tuesday the video in question showed students interviewing each other about they would treat black people if elected president in the 2040 election.

"One of the answers was they should send black people back to Africa. And they said the only states where African Americans could go would be Maine and North Dakota and … Idaho, but then one said, 'Oh no, I like Idaho potatoes. Don't say that.'

"They looked like they were drunk, but that's no excuse. We just had an incident a few months ago, and we have all these things still happening. But I'm happy our principal addressed it," Dearing told the paper.

Hamka said "the majority of our students and community members do not accept and will not tolerate such bigotry."

In March, several students from the same high school posted photos on social media of themselves at a party posing with the N-word written across their stomachs.

Fox 2 Detroit reported that in February, 11 students were caught eating marijuana cookies on a field trip to a choir competition. Last year, an off-campus student comedy show was said to have featured jokes about race, sexual orientation and students with special needs.

Grosse Point Public Schools Superintendent Gary Niehaus said another boy from a different school was identified in the video as well. Niehaus said the student who made the remarks apologized to the principal, but must apologize to his classmates too.

"Our kids know better and you get disappointed when you think kids know better and they continue to make poor choices," Niehaus said. "Continue to make poor choices."

Niehaus said the district is planning to discipline the students involved and will hold discussions with students from the Black Awareness for Education club. He said he will also talk with the students’ parents about appropriate discipline and likely suspensions.

"It's going to take a lot of effort and energy for us to come back together again," he said.

Fox 2 Detroit reported that police have also been informed about the underage drinking.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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