Officials at a high school in Charlotte, North Carolina, confirmed that a white student sent a Snapchat message to a Black studentcomparing her photo to a monkey.
In a statement to the Charlotte Observer, Ardrey Kell High School principal David Switzer and assistant principals Yolanda Burnette, Bridget Ritch and Dale Adair confirmed the incident butwould not identify the studentbecause of her age. The white student sent it while both of them were on a school bus headed to a sports match.
The student reportedly sent the message while on a school bus saying, “U look interesting.” The message was above a collage featuring a photo of the Black student and a chimpanzee. The victim’s mother sent a photo of the message to the Charlotte Observer and said she was told by police that she could not file cyberstalking charges against the student.
This is not the first controversy the white student has been involved in. Although the Charlotte Observer declined to identify the student, they reported she was disciplined three months ago after a similar incident involving racial slurs toward another Black student.
The Charlotte Observer submitted a public records request for the disciplinary file of the white student but was denied by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, which cited privacy laws. CMS stated the student was reprimanded for the incident three months ago but declined to say how or turn over any emails from administrators about the incident.
The Charlotte Observer contacted the white student’s mother on Tuesday but she didn’t respond to requests for comment.
The high school has had a number of racist incidents over the past five years involving abuse directed toward Black students.
Before a basketball game in March 2019 against West Charlotte High School, a predominantly Black school, students from Ardrey Kellused racial slurs in Snapchat posts. Students at both schools took screenshots of the post and shared it repeatedly before the student was suspended by the school.
The student and his parents released a statement apologizing for the incident and the school district released a forceful statement condemning the language.
In 2017, students attending a football game at the school shouted, “Black boy, you better watch your back! Black boy, you better keep your head on a swivel.” Ardrey Kell’s principal “punished those responsible” and sent a message to parents explaining what happened.