Tensions flated over Pompano Beach High School students’ recent racial comments on social media.
Some parents said they were outraged after they reported the hate speech and the school administrators failed to act.
In a public post on Instagram, a student threatened to use the N-word if anyone offended her with “cracker,” a derogatory word used to offend poor whites who live in the South.
“I’m sorry but the black people at my school are trash like you think everything you do is better than us and there are so ignorant and annoying,” a teenage girl wrote.
Another student echoed the sentiment: “Why do black people feel that we white people owe them something? It wasn’t our generation who made their ancestors slaves.”
Some parents and students said these two social media posts and others are symptomatic of the escalating racial conflict at the school. Some of the students say that the hate speech has already resulted in violence and vandalism.
There is no hate speech exception in the First Amendment, which protects freedom of speech. Zanita E. Fenton, a constitutional law professor at the University of Miami, said education could help students be more empathetic and promote conflict resolution.
“It ought to be the highest as the most promising means to undermine conflict, including that perceptively race based,” Fenton said.
Pompano Beach High School student Annastasiya Riley said she graduates this summer with an education on “racial cliques” and “social media wars.”
She said during her years at the school she was upset when she saw neo-Nazi symbols spray painted on the wall and a mention of “Black Lives Matter” on a mural painted over.
“This is a school full of hatred,” Riley said. She added that over the years the complaints on the matter were often “swept under the rug.”
Other students and parents, including a Broward County Sheriff’s Office employee, have contacted school administrators and school district employees. None of them have received an official response. Kamryn James, a 9th-grader who said she is already fed up, decided to confront one of the culprits.