Georgia School Suspends Black Kids But Not White Kids For Protesting Racism, Which Does Not Exist
In June of this year, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp asked the Georgia Board of Education to bar Georgia schools from teaching children that racism exists and is bad. The board happily complied, and it seems like one high school has really taken that message to heart.
Last week, some white students at Coosa High School in Rome, Georgia, walked around school property carrying a Confederate flag and screaming racial slurs. Although another student recorded the incident on her camera for posterity, the school declined to do anything about it. The students involved didn't get detention, they didn't get suspended.
In response to this, several students — Black, Hispanic, white — planned a protest. When told they would not be allowed to protest on school property, they decided to hold a silent protest across the street from the school, wearing Black Lives Matter shirts.
But even a silent protest was too much for Coosa High. The day before the planned protests, an administrator announced, "The administration is aware of tomorrow's planned protest. Police will be present here at school and if students insist on encouraging this kind of activity they will be disciplined for encouraging unrest."
Yes, because protesting racism is "encouraging unrest," unlike walking around school property carrying a Confederate flag and screaming racial slurs.
True to their word (sort of), the school suspended many of the students involved with organizing the protest — but only the Black ones.
It is almost as if Coosa High School is exemplifying what systemic racism would look like, if it were to exist!
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.
"All the African Americans they suspended them, and they didn't suspend them." Lilyan Huckaby said while pointing to white and Hispanic students who were skipping school to protest unequal treatment. "They didn't suspend me and I was yelling and loud. It's because I'm white," Huckaby told CBS46.
Not only were the students suspended for two weeks, from October 8 to October 22, but parents were notified of their suspension by sheriff's deputies coming to their homes and pulling them over in their cars. The students were also barred from going to Homecoming.
This is apparently the norm for this school, where students say they are barred from wearing Black Lives Matter or LGBTQ rainbow flag paraphernalia, but Confederate flags are A-OK.
Jessica Murray, a parent of a child at the school, said racial tensions at Coosa High School have existed long before Monday's incident.
"This has been a problem for years. Me and my kids have experienced a lot of racism, specifically at Coosa High School," she said. "I have always followed the proper chain of command. I reached out to the assistant principal of the school, the principal and then I moved up to the board of education, student affairs and the superintendent."
She said her daughter had been harassed about her hairstyle and race and Murray reported it, but the principal asked her if there was any proof of the harassment. Nothing was done, Murray said.
"My daughter also tried to wear a George Floyd and Black Lives Matter shirt," Murray said. "The school called me saying it was causing a disruption at the school and that certain kids felt a certain way about it."
Well that is just very understandable. Surely "certain kids" who hope to someday have a career in kneeling on the necks of Black men until they die would feel a "certain way" about it. And their feelings must be protected at all costs.
Now, before you think that the Coosa High School administrators are not taking the Confederate flag incident seriously, the school's new principal, Judson Cox, did send a letter to the media stating, "School and district administrators are currently investigating this issue as well as racially motivated social media posts that were brought to our attention."
It's not clear what it was they needed to "investigate," as the students carrying the flag and screaming the racial slurs were literally caught on camera. What? Did they think they weren't actually students but instead a pair of sketchy carnival owners dressed up as students trying to scare children away from the school so they could turn it into a theme park? Also what the hell is a "racially motivated" social media post?
Oddly enough though, they did not need to get Nancy Drew on the case to solve the mystery of Which Students Should We Suspend For Protesting This Incident?
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse