Wake County school principal responds to racist videos

RALEIGH, NC (WTVD) -- A Wake County principal is responding to what she said were two racist videos students posted to social media during the weekend.

One video that a Broughton High School junior posted to Snapchat, is filled with offensive comments about students at Enloe High School where she was enrolled for her freshman and sophomore years.

"Just like, take a look," she said. "Walls infested with curry. Looking around at all the brown people around you and you're just like get me the (expletive) out of here."

The student went on to mention a recent encounter she had with Enloe students at a fast food restaurant where she said she wanted to "punch them in the throat."

The principal of Broughton High School, Elena Ashburn, notified students' parents Monday via phone, email, and text of the incident she said had affected the school:

Over the weekend, two videos with Broughton students were posted on social media that contained racist language and stereotypes. As soon as it was brought to our attention, we quickly began investigating the incidents. First and foremost, I want to reassure you that we do not condone this type of behavior. Our expectation is that we adhere to high standards for all students, and these videos violate those standards.

Federal student privacy laws prohibit us from sharing individual student information; however, I want to be clear that anything that causes a disruption to the school environment is subject to disciplinary action. Please take a moment to talk with your students about the importance of living and working together in community.

As a school team, we have and will continue to discuss ways to help our students better understand the community in which we want to live and the responsibilities they have in working with social media.

Our school counseling and administrative staff are available to talk with students about their concerns. We strive each day to create a positive learning environment and take every measure to ensure the safety of our students. Thank you for your continued support of Broughton and our community.

As the student's video was being shared across social media, she posted again to Snapchat with a statement explaining her post.

She said the video was "accidentally and temporarily posted" to her public story and that in it, she was quoting someone else and the words were not her own.

The incident comes after a year of high-profile racially-charged incidents within WCPSS that ended last summer with administrators undergoing racial equity training.

ABC11 requested an interview Monday with Dr. Rodney Trice, the Asst. Superintendent of Equity Affairs who was tasked with leading the district out of that troubling time.

Staff with WCPSS said Trice was not available because he is conducting "Beyond Diversity" training this week.

Ashburn said counselors and administrative staff were available to talk with students about their concerns.
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