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Apparent blackface photo has North Augusta high school investigating

Published: Sep. 14, 2020 at 12:35 PM EDT
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NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - A North Augusta high school is investigating after a photo of what appears to be a student in blackface surfaced. Social media is playing a role in exposing it, but at what point should schools get involved in posts that happen outside of school?

Columbia County Racists is a newly-created Instagram page that features derogatory comments and images allegedly made by high schoolers in the area.

One post in particular, isn’t from Columbia County but from a student from Fox Creek High School. And It has people all over social media talking about what needs to be done.

The post, which surfaced over the weekend, shows a young woman, who many say is a student at Fox Creek, with her face painted black.

One of the lines in the post itself reads “now I can say [expletive racial slur]”.

“I was kind of shocked. But not really at the same time.”

Ayleen Worthy says she saw the photo on Snapchat, before it started making the rounds on other social media platforms.

“I know there’s a lot of those types of prejudices in the CSRA. But I didn’t think that people would be so open about it,” she said.

The teen in the photo apparently attends fox creek high school in North Augusta.

In a statement, Fox Creek High School Principal Josh Trahan says “The post does not in any way reflect the values of Fox Creek High School or the school’s commitment to diversity and the inclusion of all students. The administration at Fox Creek will continue to investigate the incident and act accordingly.”

Principal Trahan also said he and the school are investigating the, what he calls, a “clearly inappropriate” post on Snapchat.

But should schools intervene in behaviors that take place outside of school hours and off school grounds?

Columbia County School District Superintendent, Dr. Sandra Carraway weighed in.

“Children, teenagers behaviors outside of school can cause a disruption inside our schools,” she said. “Those things can be addressed. And of course, we would address them.”

So, we looked into the student codes of conduct at Fox Creek and other schools in Richmond, Columbia, and Aiken counties.

Fox Creek’s code of conduct states that “Language or behavior which demeans, insults, incites, or is inflammatory to others based on ethnic or cultural differences” or any “Inappropriate use of social media” is a Class Three infraction and may require a board expulsion hearing.

The largest three school districts in the CSRA all have items in their student codes that say students who engage in offensive activity off campus that create a disruption of school operations are also subject to be disciplined.

Dr. Carraway also told News 12 that the district is are aware of several posts on the Instagram page involving Columbia County students and has spoken with the sheriff’s department, parents, and students.

They said appropriate action has been taken, but what those actions will remain confidential.

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