Expelled H.S. students who created “Start Slavery Again” petition sue

by Ezekiel J. Walker
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According to KCUR in Kansas City, ninth-graders were on a school bus headed to a football game last Fall when one of them, who had been bantering with a Black student about jobs and slaves, drafted a petition on Change.org titled “Start Slavery Again.”

The student later shared the petition with the football team’s Snapchat group, some of whom “liked” the petition. One of them commented on the petition, saying, “I love slavery.” Another commented, “I hate blacks.” And a third commented, “I want a slave.”

Kids say the darndest racist things

The word soon spread and other non-racist students reported the petition to school administrators.  During the internal investigation, the students admitted they created the petition but tried to dismiss it as a joke.

These kids clearly felt comfortable enough to verbally joke about Blacks as slaves but that wasn’t enough. To create a hateful petition which was then positively commented on and would have undoubtedly grown more divisive in its popularity speaks to how common those beliefs are and how comfortable White Americans are with sharing them.

As a result of the investigation, there was one expulsion and three 180-day suspensions. Yet that was only the beginning.

Following the suspension, the students filed suit claiming “their First Amendment and due process rights were violated.”

The suit argues that racial slurs were common practice at Park Hill South, “most often in friendly bantering,” and that one of the Black students instigated the incident but was never disciplined. “Friendly bantering” rarely ends up in court yet the effort to minimize their own involvement persisted.

Arthur Benson, the student’s attorney, said the incident stemmed from “youthful bad judgment” that began with Black and biracial students.

Pointing the finger and accepting none of the blame, it sounds all too familiar. The expelled student requested to be reinstated and all requested to have the incident expunged from their school records.

MAGA apples don’t fall far from MAGA trees

These students and their parents would rather litigate and even blame a Black person rather than accept accountability. They employ the same GOP tactic which deflects and bans Black books about Black experiences rather than acknowledge their direct contribution to systemic racism.

Even still, a Missouri federal judge has declined to rescind the expulsion, the Associated Press reports.

The number of reported hate crimes nationwide against Black people sharply increased in 2020, according to FBI data. Though these numbers may spike at times, hate crimes against Black people have always been persistent since slavery.

In 2020, there were 2,755 reported incidents targeting Black or African American people in the U.S. That’s a nearly 40% spike from 2019 — making Black folks the most targeted racial group by a wide margin, per FBI.

U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Bough said that the majority of the public was in favor of denying the student’s reinstatement. Also, he claimed that the students may not have intended for the petition to be circulated beyond the team, but it caused “substantial disruption” at the high school and the discipline that the district handed down was justifiable.

No plans have been announced to appeal.

With their hand caught in the cookie jar, these students – and parents – didn’t apologize or show remorse, they sued the cookie jar company. And lost.

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