LUGOFF, S.C. (WIS) - Members of the Lugoff-Elgin High School community are reacting to a female student’s racist social media post.
WIS has blurred the original image to protect the student’s identity because she is a minor and has also blurred out the racial slur.
The image of the student dressed in camouflage with black paint on her face has a caption reading, “hah i can say (the n-word) bc now i look like one to.”
It was originally posted on Snapchat but has since been screenshotted and shared on Facebook, as well as other social media platforms.
Lugoff-Elgin High School principal, Corey Wright, sent an email to parents Monday night explaining the post is not consistent with what he has seen and experienced during his short time leading the school.
“This morning I became aware of an inappropriate social media post made by one of our students this weekend that in turn has been shared by others,” Wright wrote. “This post does not reflect the values of our school community. We have addressed it from an administrative standpoint.”
Wright told WIS he could not elaborate on the student’s punishment, but says he’s talked to her and her family.
“In having a chance to obviously investigate-- you understand that this is not the norm for here, for our school culture,” Wright explained. “So we did want to find a way to kind of move forward.”
But some parents believe the student should be expelled.
Leslie Brown has two children at Lugoff-Elgin and says she was shocked when her son showed her the post.
“This is too close to home,” Brown said she told her son. “This is your school; you are in class, or you are walking beside people, or you are on a virtual class with people who feel this way.”
Brown says her children have struggled trying to feel accepted in the predominantly white high school.
“Since my child has been in the school district in Elgin, she has always wanted to fit in, even mentioning, ‘Mommy, my friends say that I act white,’ or sometimes her hair, if it doesn’t fit her friends, she’s feeling depressed,” Brown explained. “It’s always a challenge letting her know, you are just enough, you are perfect, and you don’t have to fit in with anybody else. Just be who you are.”
But the social media post shows that racism still exists today, Brown says.
“Even though we have evolved, that same mindset is still there,” she noted. “That’s because we have generations that have not taught their children that color should not matter and that everybody is looked at the same way. I’m very shocked, but again, with the society that we live in, some people are not going to adapt to equality.”
Principal Wright says the school’s priority is to make sure all students feel welcome.
“The first thing we want to do with all of our students is understand that you have pride in yourself and who you are and how you carry yourself,” he explained. “In no way, shape or form should your race, religion, orientation, beliefs -- should that hinder who you are in any shape or form, and we want to serve as an example of that for our students.”