District investigates students using racial slurs in video


The video shows South students using derogatory slurs. The original tweet amassed over 10,000 views in the first 48 hours. Photo by Imran Siddiqui ‘20.

Imran Siddiqui '20, Editor in Chief

A tweet portraying two South students using derogatory language, including the N-word, was posted on Twitter last Saturday, June 22, by another student.

The two white students were seen arguing in the video calling each other the N-word four times and used the term slave twice. One student said “You’re a f—ing n—. You’re my slave,” in the video.

Just over three years ago, a similar incident occurred when a photo showing four South students with the N-word written on their bodies was posted on Instagram. This resulted in a five-day separation from the school for all four of the students.

Three months after this incident, a video surfaced that included three South students calling black people “stupid” and “worthless.” The students insisted how  in their ideal future, black people are “going to be owned by white people,” and they would “burn them on stakes.” All three students were separated from school.

When the video was posted on Twitter this weekend, it gained traction quickly. The original post has 14.4 thousand views and 69 retweets at the time this story was published. Many comments on the video urged the school district to take action.

The school district’s official Twitter account replied to a tweet on Sunday, June 23, explaining “The district is investigating and we ask the community to help– help with restorative justice, help end this cycle, help us be a community where all feel safe and welcome and this is not tolerated.” 

Superintendent Dr. Gary Niehaus issued the following statement to The Tower:

“Over the weekend, the district was informed of a disturbing video of some high school students circulating on social media. While it clearly happened outside the school year and off property, federal and state law restrict what the district can do inside our Code of Conduct unless it impacts instruction. However, the Extracurricular Code of Conduct is a 24-7, 365 policy with direct consequences. And the district is already using Restorative Justice practices with the families and students involved. 

As you know, for the past two years, diversity and equity have been the focus of half of our professional development. The district continues to work with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, University of Michigan Summer Youth Dialogue program, Wayne RESA and the local NAACP on training and programming to bring our community together and ensure all students and staff feel safe and welcome.”

As detailed in the extracurricular code of conduct, inappropriate behavior– including “racial or ethnic slurs expressed in any form”– may result in “warning through removal from activity for up to one year.”

The public is encouraged to send any letters to the editor to The Tower at [email protected]. Letters must be signed, no longer than 350 words and must be factual without slander or libel. The Tower reserves the right to publish or not publish any letters submitted.

The Tower Pulse will add updates as we receive information.

Read a student view here:

My View: We must work together to end cycle of racism