BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WSAV) – The Beaufort County School District is condemning a racist photo that is circulating around social media. The photo targets three Black students who attend Bluffton High School.
School leaders held a news conference Friday with the parents of the three boys to address the social media post.
The picture of the three boys, first posted to Snapchat, was captioned with a racial slur that reads “(expletive) monkeys.”
The photo was seen by a concerned parent who alerted the school district. The parents of the students seen in the picture are asking school leaders to take swift action.
“We would be naive to believe that this is an isolated incident and are here today because we want to see immediate action across the district,” said Kenneth Frazier Jr., a parent of one of the boys seen in the photo.
The Beaufort County School District said they were made aware of the photo Tuesday after it was taken. News 3 has learned the incident happened at Bluffton High School.
The three parents of the boys spoke out Friday and say they were upset with how long it took to be notified about the incident.
“And we were concerned for our children because they were left to the wild, and we didn’t know if they were targets,” Frazier said.
The parents say they are using this opportunity to call on the school district and the community to condemn racism.
“This can happen to any student, but we need to put a stop to it. If we continue to do nothing and not address the root of the issue, nothing will change,” Beaufort County School District Superintendent Dr. Frank Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez announced Friday that they have found the student responsible but would not comment on how they will be disciplined. Because of this incident, the district will create an equity and inclusion task force. Two staff members have already been assigned.
“It is time for honest meaningful and impactful conversations,” Dr. Rodriguez said.
The parents say they’re proud of their boys for not taking action into their own hands, but instead, realizing that the problem is much bigger than themselves.
“I think that there is a wide net that we need to cast to ensure that these kids have the support and have the resources to pivot from this, learn from this, and take that experience with them going forward,” Frazier said.
The school district says it will immediately start looking for a permanent leader for the task force. Frazier calls this a good first step, and he plans to be involved to create more discussion on racism.