Several high school students pictured spelling out the N-word with their bodies sparked protests this past weekend.
Five different pictures show students forming letters on the gymnasium floor at Heuvelton Central School in New York and were edited together to spell out the racial slur n****.
According to WWNY, the combined image was posted in a private group chat before someone shared it with a student whose mother shared it in a Facebook post.
Amy Chisholm, whose two daughters are biracial wrote on Feb. 8, “Here is what my girls deal with for Black History Month at Heuvelton School!”
The post sparked controversy and led approximately 50 students to take part in a protest against racism in Heuvelton on Saturday. Students also told reporters that a school sit-in also occurred.
Heuvelton Central School District released a statement on Friday stating that students who were involved with promoting the racial slur have been disciplined following an investigation by school administrators. No further details were revealed about the specific disciplinary actions taken.
“We are aware that some of you would like to know exactly what type of discipline was applied,” the statement said. “We hope you will understand we are required by law to protect the privacy of the individuals who have been identified so we cannot provide details about discipline for individual students.”
Amy Chisholm’s daughter Mikaylah, who is a seventh-grader, said that the incident was not the first time she experienced racism at the school. “Sometimes I can’t even go a day without being called the N-word, or just like something said to me,” Mikaylah told WWNY.
Students and parents have also recalled incidents of racism dating back to several years at a meeting of the Heuvelton school board last week.
Heuvelton School district said that it has collaborated with New York State Police, who are conducting a separate investigation into the gymnasium incident. The district also stated that it plans to “actively implement” initiatives that will create a safe and inclusive environment at Heuvelton Central School.