Forsyth County Schools officials say that 11 students at Vickery Creek Middle School will soon face disciplinary action for their part in social media conversations containing racist language, personal attacks and threats, which was brought forward to administrators last week.
According to a letter sent home to Vickery Creek parents on Wednesday, Nov. 6, the “racist” conversation between “a number of students” allegedly took place on the social media platform Snapchat over the weekend of Nov. 2, causing disruptions when school resumed on the following Monday.
Messages between the students reportedly involved the use of racial and sexual profanity, referring to slavery and threats of violence, a source familiar with the situation said.
Following the conversation, several students apparently came forward to adults with what had been said, and other students confessed that they did not feel comfortable returning to school, according to school officials.
“The posts did not directly threaten VCMS; however, they were very inappropriate and caused concern to a number of our students and families,” Vickery Creek Middle Principal Scott Feldkamp stated in the letter. “I would like to thank the student that contacted an adult about the seriousness of these posts.”
On Tuesday, Forsyth County Schools Director of Communications Jennifer Caracciolo said that legally the system can’t share the specifics of student discipline, but said that tribunals for some of the students are occurring this week.
Caracciolo said that because this incident occurred on a weekend beyond the bounds of the school, the system was unable to prevent it from happening, but in the future, they hope that a partnership between the community and school can prevent similar incidents.
"We recognize that it's a societal problem, and as a school system, we are working on a diversity, equity and inclusion plan,” she said. “The hateful language and racism used by these children are not tolerated in our schools. Forsyth County Schools expects and demands that all individuals are treated with integrity, dignity and respect.”
Caracciolo also said that a complaint has been filed by parents against a teacher at Vickery Creek, who was not involved in the Snapchat conversation, but who allegedly made insensitive remarks to one of the students who was targeted in the incident.
That teacher has been placed on leave and the school system is investigating the situation, she said.