The superintendent of Salmon High School in Salmon, Idaho, has taken disciplinary action against a group of students who were seen spelling out the N-word on their t-shirts as they surrounded a mixed-race student in a photo.
A few parents — who were outraged by the incident — claimed that this wasn’t the first time racism has reared its ugly head on campus.
According to KTVB 7, on Tuesday, Sept. 26, a student at Salmon High School took to Instagram to post the alarming photo. In the since-deleted image, the group of high school students — who were spelling out the N-word on their shirts — had their middle finger pointed at the mixed-race student. Pictured lying on the ground, the mixed-race student was also flipping the bird in the eyebrow-raising image.
On Sept. 27, Salmon School District Superintendent Dr. Troy Easterday took swift “disciplinary action” against all of the students seen in the deplorable picture.
“Salmon School District does not condone nor has ever condoned what was expressed on social media today. Disciplinary action has been taken,” Easterday said in a video posted to Facebook.
During an interview with KTVB 7, Easterday claimed that the photo was not “posted maliciously.” He did not specify what kind of disciplinary action was taken against the students.
The superintendent also addressed the racist image after it went viral on social media Tuesday.
“As superintendent of the Salmon School District, I am well aware of the current situation happening with a social media post by our Salmon School District students. At this time, the administrative team of the Salmon School District is investigating this post and will keep the community aware within the legal confines of the law.”
Upset and appalled by the despicable photo, a few concerned parents emailed KTVB 7, noting that this wasn’t the first time a racist incident occurred at Salmon High School. Easterday denied the allegations.
“Nothing has ever been brought to my desk that there’s ever been a situation like this and that it hasn’t been taken seriously. Not while I’ve been here,” the superintendent reassured the news outlet.
“Our team did not hesitate to act. We did all the right legal steps to make sure disciplinary action was taken,” he added.
The students apologized for posting the “hateful” photo.
On Sept. 28, the students responsible for posting the inappropriate photo issued an apology on the Salmon School District website. They claimed it was just an “ugly joke.”
The paltry apology read:
“To the student body, school district, school board, teachers, and community. I am honestly so ashamed of my recent actions. In no way what we did was in a disrespectful, hateful, or malicious way to anyone in or out of the photo. It was an ugly joke that never should have been presented in that way. It was an embarrassment to our families, school and community. I knew better than that, but I still participated in this horrible behavior. Words and actions like this are no way how I want to be seen as. I do hope that we can take whatever actions necessary to bring love and pride back into our school and town. I am so sorry to everyone that our immature actions have hurt…”
Disciplinary action isn’t enough for some parents shaken by the racist ordeal.
During an interview with East Idaho News, a few concerned parents claimed that students of color were “being targeted and bullied” at Salmon High School.
One upset mother– who has mixed-race children — told the outlet, “The post is disgusting and a hate crime. I’m ashamed and embarrassed. My husband is one of two, maybe three, African Americans in this town. I’m afraid if I said too much, it would affect my job or my small business.”
Another mother is debating on whether to remove her children from Salmon.
“The reason why there’s hate in this community is because no one does anything about it. Period,” the frustrated parent added.“These kids are old enough to know right from wrong. Parents, do better. But you can’t blame the parents for this, because some of them are 18. They’re adults. It’s disturbing.”
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