Two Georgia High Schoolers are feeling the very real consequences of posting an extremely racist video. The clip, which according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution was uploaded to social media platform TikTok last Thursday, went viral. By Friday, Carrollton City Schools, where the teenagers were students, said the two would not be allowed to graduate.
Dr. Mark Albertus, the superintendent of Carrollton City Schools described the students’ behavior as “unacceptable” and added that it was “not representative of the district’s respect for all people.”
“The racist behavior observed in the video easily violates this standard,” Albertus said. “They are no longer students at Carrollton High School.”
The two students, outed on Twitter as Stephanie Freeman and Jeffery Hume, were seniors and expected to graduate this year. A fellow classmate saw their video on TikTok and posted it to a wider audience on Twitter. The classmate captioned the video saying, “Okay I know this probably isn’t going to get a lot of views but I just thought I’d show everyone how racist the kids at my school are. The girl’s name is Stephanie Freeman and she’s a senior at Carrollton High School.”
The video now has more than 8.6 million views and was widely shared on the social platform. In the 50 second clip, you can see the teens acting as cooking show hosts and creating a “recipe” for N—s. They include a cup of “Black” along with cups of stereotypes: don’t have a dad, eat watermelon and fried chicken, rob people, and go to jail. The cup of “make good choices” was noticeably empty.
Over the weekend, the suspected young woman included in the video laid blame on her boyfriend for the racist messages. “I want to apologize for the abhorrent video I posted,” an alleged Freeman wrote on her Instagram story. “I know in my heart how wrong it was. My BF is racist and he slowly normalized his racism on me. Still I should never have let him. I believe blacks are human too, made in the image of Christ. I have disappointed God and I want to apologize.”
The student also went on to ask people to stop harassing her and holding her accountable for her actions. “Please don’t contact my college,” she continued. “It’s my future and one mistake should not ruin a life. Also, please stop with the death threats. Again, I apologize sincerely.” Her partner in racist videos shared similar sentiments.
Though the video was made outside of school, Carrollton High Principal David Brooks told the AJC that “it doesn’t alleviate the students’ responsibility to uphold a high standard of behavior.” He added, “It is our priority to keep our schools safe, and there is no doubt this incident has caused significant tension at Carrollton High School, across the district, state and nation — even the world.”