Elizabeth Renstrom for TIME
Two black students at a North Carolina high school were suspended after bringing attention to the racist remarks made by a fellow classmate over a conversation about the national student walkout.
Sophomores Carmani Harris-Jackson and Trinity Smith told Buzzfeed News that they had been unfairly punished with two-day suspensions for drawing attention to a racist act. Their actions also sparked conversation about racism at Central Cabarrus High School in Concord, North Carolina.
The incident occurred following a discussion about the national walkouts, in which some students criticized the campaign for gun reform. Harris-Jackson got involved, pointing out that the the goal of the walkout was to implement gun restrictions, not take guns away. The conversation then escalated on social media when a white student chose to use the n-word to criticize the walkout.
“They’re putting laws on who can purchase a gun. No, nigger…” she allegedly said in a Snapchat video.
Harris-Jackson and Smith chose to republish the same video on their Facebook and Twitter accounts. The video got over 10,000 views and 200 retweets on Smith’s Twitter alone, Buzzfeed News reports. Other students reposted the video, and used it as an opportunity to talk about their own experiences of racism at the school.
Two white students, including the one who said the n-word, were apparently also suspended.
“I was a victim in the situation and you all got mad at me for putting it out there,” Carmani Harris-Jackson said.
Her mother, Sharon Shingler, agreed telling Buzzfeed News that she found the school’s actions “very baffling.”
“You are standing up for what is right and you’re getting in trouble for standing up for what’s right,” she said.
The school refused to comment on the incident.
You may like
Get The Essence Newsletter and Special Offers delivered to your inbox!