CCSD: Student attached threat to 'n word' tweet

Student accused of 'n-word' tweet goes to prom, will graduate

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A loud clap burst out of the room as Imani Herring finished reading a prepared statement in front of the Charleston County School Board, Monday night. The Charleston County School of the Arts student set the record straight over a tweet directed at her that included a racial slur.

"This hurt me," said Herring. "This insulted me and threatened me. Today I'm here to remind you I have been a victim."

Herring was allegedly on the receiving end of a tweet sent by another School of the Arts student named Ashley Patrick last week.

"I was very shocked when I saw it," said Herring.

Herring told school board members that the tweet, although using the 'n word,' also contained a threat.

"I didn't exaggerate anything," said Herring. "I gave them the real background of the story and what truthfully happened."

School board member Michael Miller says it was that threat that brought the issue to the attention of the board in the first place.

"[Patrick] was talking about what would happen in school the next day in the event someone were to continue to talk in class," said Miller. "To me that sent a threat to her twitter account. She tweeted a threat to a student in her class and based on what we received the tweet to be, it seemed to be more than one threat. It was one threat, one promise and one racial epithet."

CCSD decided last week Patrick will be required to perform 20 hours of community service and write a 500 word paper on racism and its effects on social media.

Additionally, board members devised she will not be allowed to attend prom, and she will not be allowed to walk at graduation either. Instead, Patrick will receive a diploma from the school.

However, according to Herring, Patrick did attend the prom this past Saturday.

Dwayne Green, Patrick's attorney, said his client was allowed to attend prom and will be allowed to graduate.

"The CCSD ruling from last week's appeal was to uphold the constituent board ruling, which was mistakenly construed to include prom and graduation," said Green. "Over the weekend we were able to confirm from the constituent board chair that missing prom and graduation were never part of the intended punishment."

Herring said she felt 'looked over' and 'forgotten' when she saw Patrick show up at the prom. Now she says she's starting a campaign against cyber bullying to bring more awareness to those who need it.

"It's not OK to attack others through technology," said Herring. "Through my campaign I want people to realize they aren't alone."

Miller says the board was very open to hearing Herring's account of the story to better understand the situation and how she was affected.

"We do believe we can use this as a learning experience as we move forward making sure the policies are set in place that we protect every single student in our district from threats whether they're personal or electronic threats," said Miller.

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