Some Black students at a Texas high school say they’re too scared to attend classes after a series of racist texts circulated on campus, leading to an investigation by the school district.
A group of East Bernard High students started a text thread on Dec. 6 about their upcoming prom in February, according to ABC 13 Houston. But the conversation soon took an ugly turn, from discussing a party bus as transportation to violent, hateful comments about Black students.
Tyra Seydler, a 16-year-old, heard about the incident after a classmate showed her the conversation on her phone.
“[My friend] was in the group chat and saw everything going on. It was supposed to be about prom, but it just ended up being racist,” she told ABC 13. “I just feel uncomfortable being there now because that’s a threat. I just don’t want to go to that school anymore.”
According to ABC 13, Tyra said that she skipped multiple days of school because she was afraid of the possible backlash.
In the text thread, one white student allegedly wrote “no Black people allowed” on the party bus, and another student agreed. One student followed up on the thread by saying, “All N—s must hang.”
After the chat was shared between students and eventually made its way to parents, East Bernard Independent School District Superintendent Courtney Hudgins released a statement, saying that a full investigation was being launched and extra security would be provided at the school “as a precautionary measure to ensure student safety and minimize disruption to the instructional day.”
“Additionally, counseling services were, and continue to be, provided to students impacted by the incident,” Hudgins said. “Students involved with the group chat and racist hate speech are receiving disciplinary measures in accordance with the student code of conduct.”
Hudgins noted that disciplinary action against the students involved was confidential, but said the school district does not tolerate hate speech or threats. She did not specify the counseling services that were being offered or how they would determine whether or not a student was impacted by the ordeal.
The East Bernard Independent School District did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Daily Beast.
“Going forward, parents, students, and staff must partner together to rebuild unity and equity,” Hudgins stated. “East Bernard [Independent School District] strives to provide a safe, inclusive environment for all students to learn, achieve, and build lifelong relationships.”