A Virginia town is reeling after white middle school football players were caught simulating forcible rapes of black teammates in a racist Snapchat video.
Administrators at Short Pump Middle School in the Richmond suburb of Glen Allen have canceled the remaining three games in the football season, and are mandating ethics and sensitivity workshops for members of the team. Police are investigating the video, and some in the community are calling for criminal charges.
The video begins with a text question: “Ever wonder what really goes on in the football locker room?” At one point, a student can be heard saying: “We’re going to f**k the black outta these black children from Uganda,” KSLA-TV reported.
The school board said it was “deeply concerned,” and warned such activity “will not be tolerated.”
“To say that this act was ‘offensive and wrong,’ it went way past offensive and wrong. This is criminal,” Lorraine Wright of the Richmond-based I Vote for Me human rights group told NBC.
“Racism should not be tolerated. You should be able to send your kids to school and feel they are being protected and safe,” one parent complained to KSLA.
The video adds to a string of recent racist events at schools across the country. High school students in southeast Pennsylvania last week posed with pumpkins carved with the letters “KKK” or a swastika and posted the photos to social media. In Ohio, some parents were stunned to hear a middle school choir sing about cotton picking days after students posed outside the school with Confederate flags. And in Utah, five high school girls — including three cheerleaders — uploaded a video gleefully chanting an obscene racist slur.
Most of the recent incidents were linked to social media, which some experts say may inspire kids to compete for provocative postings.
“Social media may elicit a kind of competitive or ‘one-upping’ culture that fuels peer competition around who is the most daring,” Vassar professor and social psychologist Dana Greenwood told Business Insider.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article incorrectly located the high school with the pumpkin-carving incident in Philadelphia; it took place in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, which is west of the city.