Two white high school students in Maryland called one of their black classmates a racial slur, the school says.
The incidents happened at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda. The school’s principal, Alan Goodwin, told News4 that both incidents involved two white students ganging up on a black student and calling him the n-word.
"I want our students to at least feel safe, that they can have civil discourses and feel welcome at our school One incident is unacceptable and we have to do a better job," Goodwin told News4.
In an email sent out to the parent listserv, Goodwin said the students were disciplined according to Montgomery County Public School’s Code of Conduct, and that the school’s resource police officer also got involved following the incidents.
“Derogatory name-calling of any type is unacceptable with strong school consequences for any racist expressions, gender-charged words, and sexual identity references,” Goodwin said in a school wide announcement.
School administrators began visiting all English classes to repeat these expectations after the second incident, Goodwin said.
"I was really disappointed and surprised," said parent Julie Zebrak.
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Zebrak said she made sure to talk about the incidents to her daughters.
"Whitman is not a place that I would ever describe as a school who isn’t open and welcoming to all students The teachable moment is gonna be the fact that there will be more discussions about why it matters, why it’s wrong," she said.
Less than 5 percent of Whitman’s student body is black, according to Montgomery County Public Schools.
The school’s website has a form where students can submit anonymous complaints. Students have also received buttons that say “Vikings against hate” and “Vikings for love.”