Parents are outraged by the inaction of an Alabama school district after a video posted on Snapchat earlier this month showing the son of a school board president chanting ‘white power’ and ‘kill every n —- rs ”while another student was filming.
In an email to Cullman City School District Superintendent Kyle Kalloff and members of the school board, Jocelyn Logan said she was “physically ill” when her son, a black grade 10 student at Cullman High School, received the video from an outraged friend earlier this month.
“Cullman Town Schools would clearly punish our son if he made a video threatening white students at Cullman High School,” she wrote in an email over the weekend. “My son is one of a handful of black kids in school. Tell me how he wouldn’t be threatened by KILL ALL THE Ns ?! Explain to me why this is not a threat.
Her post came after Kalloff told another relative, in an email obtained by The Daily Beast, that the district’s hands were tied because the video was recorded off campus.
Logan told the Daily Beast on Thursday that she and her husband, who are both white, were struggling to enroll their son in the school district due to an ingrained history of racism in the “sunset town” at predominantly white – areas known to become dangerous to blacks after sunset, where her son has repeatedly suffered racist remarks during his four years as a student in the neighborhood.
“It’s not like they’ll do anything about it,” Logan said, her son told her, before she addressed the school board and called the school district president. , Amy Carter, to resign. The Daily Beast withholds the names of students to protect their privacy.
Carter did not respond to Daily Beast requests for comment on her son’s alleged behavior. But she told Logan and AL.com her son was impersonating a TikTok video and, although he appeared to be looking into the camera, didn’t know it was recorded until several days later when someone emailed him. video on Snapchat.
She described her son at the point of sale as having erred in judgment, adding that he was “devastated that his words are harming other people.”
Logan said his son painted a different picture of the teenager, alleging that he “bragged” that the punishment he received as a result of the video was for taking extra turns during the video. basketball training.
Expressing concerns about Carter’s dual role as chair of the board and parent of a child involved in the incident, Logan said she was ready to force the board to act, writing in her email to board members that she intended to contact the US Department of Education. Civil Rights Office.
“My child deserves to feel as safe in our schools as any of your children,” she wrote. “It seems to me that this may be our only option as the system is not prepared to protect all students. Honestly, at this point it’s not just about my son. These are all minority students in this system.
According to Logan, his son was repeatedly called the N word in school. His classmates also called him a monkey and laughed at “not seeing him in the dark” because of his skin color, she said.
During one of his son’s classes last year, Logan said that a student used the name “Nick Gurr” on the game-based learning platform Kahoot. More recently, another parent contacted her to describe their child being ostracized at lunchtime for telling another student not to use the N word, she said.
In previous cases, Logan has said that she had been assured by the administrators that racism would not be tolerated at school, but when her husband met the principal of the school, he allegedly asked him if it mattered that the students “use the hard R” when they told him about their son through the racist affair.
“The history of racism in this community is so rampant that most black people in the state of Alabama won’t even stop here for gas,” she said. “The school system needs to have a zero tolerance policy for hate crimes of any kind to all of their children, not just their minority children.
Logan, who is a third-grade teacher in another school district, said the efforts of Cullman Town schools to “sweep him under the rug, cover him up and ignore him” are alarming as it could invite “future cases of violence “.
Kalloff and Carter are expected to resign, she said.
At a school board meeting on Tuesday, Kallhoff cited the state’s resolution on “intellectual freedom and non-discrimination,” which arose out of an outcry over how race and racism are taught in Alabama classrooms. The resolution declares that educators should not teach concepts that cause people to “feel guilt or anguish” for the past based on their race, while preaching the equality of all races and all. the genres.
Logan described the superintendent at this meeting as both “nonchalant” and “dismissive” about the incident, which she said could be dealt with directly on the basis of the Jamari Terrell Williams law which targets cyberbullying, bullying and violence both on school property and “among students when they were not on school property. He urges local school boards to adopt policies to prevent bullying “based on a student’s characteristics.”
The law was mentioned by another parent in the school district, Laura McHan-Doss, who first alerted the video superintendent in an email on November 4 and called for action. Kalloff declined, suggesting he believed the board had no power to discipline students because the video was recorded off campus, but said he was seeking the advice of the system’s attorney. school “just to be sure”. McHan-Doss urged him to reconsider his decision, telling him that some of the school’s few students of color “fear for their safety after seeing the video.”
“Please consider what this inaction on your part is saying to these children,” she wrote.
McHan-Doss told the Daily Beast on Thursday that she had not heard from since her November 11 email and was “mortified but not surprised” by the incident. She said she had hoped for decisive action, but the board’s apology for her apparent inaction “was quite a cop.”
“We’re finally getting a little bit of diversity and can’t handle it,” she said, adding that she hoped Kalloff “would be as amazed and disgusted as we are, but his response has been very flat.”
Last year, Kalloff was named a defendant in another lawsuit brought by the family of 9-year-old McKenzie Adams, a black student whose parents believe she committed suicide after relentless bullying in an elementary school in western Alabama where Kalloff previously served as general superintendent.
Kalloff is accused of “willful and blatant disregard for the persistent and unwarranted bullying and harassment, riddled with racial and sexist slurs, inflicted on McKenzie by a boy who was his classmate,” according to the lawsuit.
Kalloff declined to comment to the Daily Beast about the trial and did not provide details on the nature of an investigation or disciplinary action, instead describing the video that had been brought to the attention of the school system as involving “racial statements off campus and away from school.”
“The Cullman City school system does not endorse racist statements or condone racism or racist hate statements. We have dealt with this situation in accordance with our board policies and the student code of conduct. Due to federal and state regulations, we cannot and will not comment on specific student or student disciplinary actions, ”he wrote in a statement.
He added that the board of directors is “currently consulting” staff at the Alabama State Department of Education and other state agencies for advice on how to encourage acceptance despite the differences.
Logan said Thursday that it was only after his son approached the ninth grade student featured in the video that the boy apologized for his actions. He then apologized over the phone, but she said her son hadn’t heard from anyone else. implied.