A group of Michigan high school students caused outrage when they jumped on a TikTok trend and created a video about police brutality that was inspired by and seemingly poked fun at George Floyd’s death.
“I can’t believe kids do this,” parent Jaimie Nasceif told Fox 2 Detroit. “I find that ridiculous and something totally unacceptable.”
According to Fox 2, the video was captured during an off-campus breakfast in August for players on Stevenson High School’s football team.
In the video, posted to Instagram earlier this week by @metrodetroitnarc, white ninth graders in soccer jerseys stand in a circle on an outdoor patio. They surround a black student who is kneeling on the floor. The black student is wearing all black clothing except for a cloth serving as a blindfold, and he has his hands behind his back as if he has been arrested. The white students point water pistols at him.
“I dare you to shoot him,” says one of the white students.
The white students yell a sound similar to a gunshot and tell the black student to fall to the ground. One of the students even pushes him as a signal to fall.
“Shoot him in the head,” says one student after the black kid hits the ground.
Then the circle of boys pretend to stomp and kick him while he laughs. One of the white teammates tells the black student to “go back to Africa”.
In a separate clip, white football players with water pistols approach a black teammate outside. (It’s unclear if he’s the same football player from the previous scenario.) They yell at him to “stop resisting” as they aim their guns. Then one of the white students ends the fake arrest by attacking the black boy.
At the end of the video, someone from the group mentions George Floyd.
After the video circulated on social media, Stevenson High School Principal Kenneth L. Cucchi III told parents it was inspired by a TikTok trend “based on the tragic death of George Floyd.” Detroit Metro Times reported.
“The school is investigating this event to ensure that no other unacceptable behavior occurred alongside this video,” the principal said, according to the Times. “Preliminary disciplinary action has been taken and the ongoing investigation will determine the final consequences.”
According to that TimesCucchi also said the school will use the video to educate other students about objectionable content on social media.
”In a case where a diverse group of students involved makes a bad choice – regardless of whether their stated intention was to intentionally hurt or upset others – the school will use them to help the students to understand why this is offensive and damaging to the fabric of our community,” he said.
This isn’t the first time Stevenson High School has faced discrimination allegations.
Maya Hunko, a junior whose brother plays on the soccer team, said the school is diverse but “doesn’t focus on cultural awareness,” Fox 2 reported.
Anthony Maharidge, a student at the school, started an online petition over a year ago urging Stevenson and the Utica School District to take responsibility for pervasive “homophobia, transphobia, misogyny and racism” in the community.
“I shouldn’t feel like I’m being judged in the halls every day. I’m sure many other minorities in the school/district feel the same way I do,” Maharidge wrote on the petition, which has garnered nearly 500 signatures.
In a statement, Utica Public Schools said the actions in the George Floyd-inspired video are not consistent with their values.
“The images and message in the video have no place in our community,” the statement said. “Although the event took place off-campus, student behavior is expected to reflect our community values and the school’s code of conduct.”
The statement added that appropriate action has been taken and the district has launched an investigation.
“There will continue to be discussions with the coaches and adults involved to ensure that there is appropriate oversight at sponsored and non-sponsored events involving sports teams, other students and staff,” the statement said. “Stevenson High School remains committed to creating a positive environment that respects all people and reflects our community values.”
https://www.thedailybeast.com/viral-video-captures-stevenson-michigan-high-schoolers-mocking-george-floyds-death?source=articles&via=rss Viral video shows students at Stevenson Michigan High School mocking George Floyd’s death