Buchanan High School students are reporting that a student who participated in a racist Snapchat conversation was beat up last week upon his return to school.
A video circulating on social media shows a black student approach a white student who is walking through the halls. The white student says “I’m not doing anything” before the black teen begins hitting him, and the confrontation spills into a classroom.
Students confirmed that the student who was hit in the video was one of many who participated in a Snapchat conversation about slaves that used the N-word.
The student was returning to school on Thursday, but it’s not clear whether he had been on independent study or had been suspended for his role in the messages.
The Bee is not naming the students in the video and agreed not to name the students interviewed about the incident because they are minors and to protect their safety.
During the fight, school staff intervened “within seconds” to stop it, said Kelly Avants, a spokeswoman for the district. Student safety is the highest priority on Clovis Unified campuses, and the aggressive behavior in the video “is absolutely unacceptable behavior,” she said.
“What is shown on the seconds-long video appears to clearly violate the district’s student discipline policies,” Avants said in an email. “To underscore the unacceptable nature of such behavior, any student found to be in violation of our student discipline, zero tolerance or bullying policies faces disciplinary consequences.”
The district is bound by education code and student privacy laws from commenting on disciplinary action taken against students in the video or involved in the racist conversation, Avants said.
“Obviously we understand that people want to know all of the details,” she said about the racist conversation. “We also would hope they’re understanding of the fact that as a public school system, in working with minor students, the law is very clear in what we’re able to discuss and can’t discuss.”
The district previously called the messages “intolerable” and said “the fullest extent of disciplinary consequences available to us will be taken.”
At a meeting on Monday evening, Clovis Unified parents made plans to address the school board and request further action from the district.
The school board meeting agenda for Wednesday evening includes an item on student discipline during closed session and a resolution “affirming expectations and policies to create a learning environment characterized by mutual respect and dignity for every student.”