HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Things got heated at a Wednesday night meeting at Short Pump Middle School as parents confronted school leaders about racism and bullying.
School officials said the meeting was intended to address a vulgar and racially-charged video shot a few weeks back in the boy’s locker room.
In that video, a few members of the school’s football team simulated sex acts on black teammates.
Tonight, parents say what happened in that locker room is just a sign of deeper problems within the school.
Henrico County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Patrick Kinlaw called the video heartbreaking.
“The kind of behavior portrayed in the video will not be tolerated in our schools,” Kinlaw said.
But parents called it something more sinister.
“I keep hearing it called an incident, an unfortunate event, right? It’s not. It was a crime,” said April Sullivan, a parent.
“These kids need to be expelled. Not just to the next district or another state, but anywhere. You just lost a year,” another parent said.
Parents packed the auditorium and criticized the way the school administrators handled the situation. Many only learned about the video when they saw it on the news.
“I don’t understand why we can’t know if there is a crime that’s committed around our children. They know about it and they need our help to process it, so they are acting it out,” another parent, Sally Martin, said.
But the meeting over a vulgar video quickly morphed into a look at alleged racism in the school. One mother of a former student claims her daughter was a victim and that the school administrators did nothing to stop it.
“I begged you. I cried in your office. I said this will get worse. These kids need help,” she said. “He ignored me.”
As you saw, this was an emotionally-charged meeting. People want the best for their kids and they hope the school and the district will work to address their concerns.
As far as the video goes, the reason everyone was here, the school is doing a lot of counseling and training to help make kids more accepting of one another.
It has also changed its policy so that students will not be left alone in the locker room.
We’ll continue to follow this story.