A video made by some Davie County High School students reenacting the death of a black man in police custody has drawn condemnation from the county’s school system.
Davie County Schools issued a statement Wednesday denouncing the video, saying it was saddened to hear of it.
“The video is appalling and does not represent the views of Davie County Schools or the character education we teach to our students,” the statement said.
The video reenacts the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25. Floyd died after a policeman put his knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes. His death has sparked a national outcry and protests over racial inequality.
The school system said that because the video was not shot on school property that it could only inform the parents of its existence.
“When this situation was brought to our attention, Davie County High School administration immediately contacted the parents of the students involved. The parents were very upset, apologized and agreed to have the video removed. They were appreciative of the call. Unfortunately, the video has been copied and shared and may still be viewable in places,” according to the statement.
The district also asked that anyone who posted the video remove it.
“Davie County Schools stands firmly against social inequality and any acts of violence,” the statement read.
Three years ago, the school system addressed another video with disturbing racial content. After someone posted a photo of a noose hanging in the high school restroom, a video soon began circulating on social media. In that video, a male voice uses the “N” word several times and indirectly makes threats to people who believe the noose is a racist symbol.
The noose has long been used as a threatening symbol toward black people, recalling the country’s history of lynching black people.
Asked to address punishment the students may face, Jenni Pleasant, a spokeswoman for the school system said in a statement: “We cannot disclose the specific consequences and discipline associated with students. I can assure you that we adhere to our policies, strictly following them when addressing student incidents. Currently, we have been able to contact the students’ parents, but the same diligent process will take place to determine if there was a violation of policy in this instance. These are unique times with students not in our school buildings.”
Because of the new coronavirus, students have not been in schools since March 13.
Meanwhile, Pat Reagan, the chief of the Mocksville Police Department, announced on a Facebook post that he would be meeting with Mocksville Mayor Will Marklin and local civic and religious leaders today to discuss how the community can avoid the type of racial incidents that have flared up in other parts of the country.
“We all feel the anguish and pain with the death of George Floyd. However, we must not let this divide our community or nation. I realize in some places public trust in law enforcement has been compromised. However, we must continue to work together, build relationships, foster partnerships and find solutions to prevent these actions from occurring again,” Reagan said in the post.
The announcement of the meeting followed a statement by the police department denouncing the actions that led to Floyd’s death.
“Please rest assured that we, the men and women of the Mocksville Police Department, do not condone the actions of the officers involved. The video provided by the news media is unfathomable. Just like each of you, we are appalled and profoundly disgusted with the actions or lack thereof of the Police Officers involved with this situation,” the statement read.