Parents, NEISD respond to video showing multiple Roosevelt students saying ‘I hate black people'

Students were told video was meant as social experiment

By Mary Claire Patton - Digital Content Curator, Deven Clarke - News Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - A video showing multiple Roosevelt High School students saying, “I hate black people,” is currently circulating on social media.

North East Independent School District immediately launched an investigation after a parent emailed principal Melvin Echard on April 5 to inform him of the video.

“The video is disgusting and inappropriate,” said a spokesperson for NEISD.

According to an email sent to KSAT, a black student was making the video as a social experiment and specifically asked students to say, “I hate black people.”

There's also racially charged language at the end of the video that includes cursing and the N-word.

The students were told it was for a social experiment, but they were not told the video would be posted online.

"A threat is a threat. A terroristic threat is a terroristic threat, whether I say, 'I'm going to kill you; I'm going to hurt you,'" NEISD parent Lori Fasrese said.

All of the students in the video have been identified, and a total of 18 students face disciplinary action for their participation in the video.

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"In this instance, there was no immediate threat because it happened back on April 5, and there hasn't been any incidents that happened since then," NEISD Police Chief Wally McCampbell said.

Each of the students that participated in the video have been assigned consequences and must visit with an on-campus counselor.

Parents of every student involved were also contacted.

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The student who originally posted the video has since taken it down, but it’s still on Facebook, and comments on the video are scathing.

"They need to be held accountable for their actions, and their speaking is an action, period," Farese said.

KSAT has chosen not to embed or link to the video.

District 2 Councilman William "Cruz" Shaw issued the following statement in response to the video:

“Today I saw a video where 18 students from Roosevelt High School spewed racist language about African Americans. I was in disbelief as I heard threats, slurs, and hate speech from children of all backgrounds.

"Our office reached out to NEISD’s communications department for clarification and we were told that they could not legally divulge what specific disciplinary actions were taken. We were also told that the student who created this video asked others to participate in this video as a ‘social experiment’ and asked students to say the most offensive comments they could think of. Because of that, the district did not determine the threat made in the video to be an ‘actual threat.’

"Ensuring our children are safe should always be our first priority and writing off threats and hate speech as a ‘social experiment’ is completely unacceptable. We also need to keep in mind that suspension and alternative school placement cannot adequately address the underlying issues that cause students to behave this way. A restorative justice approach must be taken to truly educate our children.

"It is imperative that administrators exercise equitable treatment across the board when it comes to addressing threats made by students. In March, a female student was arrested for making four social media posts making bomb threats and is now facing four felony charges of terroristic threat. 

After the domestic terrorism we have seen across our nation lately, school administrators everywhere are encouraging children to report any suspicious or threatening behavior. We have to show our students that proper action will be taken when they raise these concerns. We have to show our students that there is zero tolerance for threats, slurs, and hate speech in our schools, our district, and our city.”

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