Snow Hill High School students stage walk out over racially charged social media posts
SNOW HILL, Md. – Students filing into the stands of Snow Hill High School’s (SHHS) football field Thursday afternoon.
However, they weren’t there to cheer at a sporting event. Instead, students took the opportunity to walk out, and protest what they’re calling racially charged social media posts.
“Last week, our Snow Hill baseball team posted a picture on Snapchat, stating that they were them ‘n words’ and they put a ninja emoji, and they had them as Black ones instead of their color,” said SHHS student Jaylen Johnson.
One Snapchat post obtained by 47 ABC WMDT shows members of the SHHS baseball team wearing black ski masks, with a caption reading “THEM” and several Black ninja emojis. Students tell 47 ABC WMDT the emojis are often used to represent a racial slur. Another, also obtained by our team, shows a white student using a racial slur in writing.
Fellow student Kendal Brittingham says when she saw the posts, she was hurt. “It made me feel some kind of way, because they’re not Black and I am. I know they weren’t being direct. I know it wasn’t directed towards me, but it’s directed towards my people, so I felt some kind of way about it,” she said.
Solidarity Amongst Students
Students of multiple racial backgrounds could be seen standing in solidarity with their Black peers, as they held signs reading “Our color doesn’t define us!!” and “We need results.”
“It’s just justice. It shouldn’t have to be that people should be put down in their own school, or their own community, because we’re all supposed to be a Snow Hill Family, and it doesn’t really seem like that,” said SHHS student Heydein Flores.
However, it’s not just the racially charged social media posts that have students speaking out. “There were said consequences. They were supposed to get suspended from their first game, which was yesterday, and they all played. So, that didn’t happen,” said SHHS student Zoey Tinker.
“They’re freely playing baseball, having fun, living their regular, normal lives as if they did not just… I don’t even know how to describe it, but it was messed up,” added fellow SHHS student T’Marah Cannon.
School leaders tell 47 ABC WMDT that the students who made the posts have been dealt with to district standards. However, officials could not provide additional information about what discipline those students may have faced.
Worcester County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Louis Taylor, and SHHS Principal Dr. Kimberly Purvis were out with the protesting students on Thursday. Dr. Purvis says administrators wanted to make sure the students had a safe place to voice their concerns.
“My main thing for them was, you have to be peaceful. Every student has a right to share their feelings, but you have to be peaceful, and we have to have this resolved,” said Dr. Purvis.
Looking ahead, Dr. Purvis says school leaders will ensure the students affected by the social media posts will receive the support they need.
“Our school is a restorative school. Restorative justice is in our school, and we want to utilize our counselors, our school social workers to talk to our students, and allow them the opportunity to share their feelings, and see where we go from here,” said Dr. Purvis. “We still have to move beyond this. We are an outstanding school, and we want to remain that way.”
Meanwhile, students say they plan to continue standing up for each other, and being vocal.
“We support each other, for real. We support everything and anything we do. We just support each other, that’s all,” said SHHS student Corey Hinmon Jr.