A confrontation between two students at Monroe High School in Washington state has prompted a hate crime investigation after video of the incident circulated online, stirring outrage from officials. The Herald Net reports that the incident, which was recorded on video and witnessed by a group of students in the school parking lot, happened on Nov. 10. One of the students, who is white, repeatedly taunted the classmate, who is Black, using a racial slur. The white student allegedly hit the Black student in the head with a plastic water bottle, and another student reportedly had to intervene to stop the situation from escalating.
Racism isn’t a new issue within Monroe schools, according to the Herald Net. A previous report found that more than half of students who participated in a survey admitted to experiencing race and sexual or gender discrimination. On Nov. 12, Monroe School District Superintendent Dr. Justin Blasko released a statement, writing, “We are devastated that hatred and intolerance has manifested itself in our school district. We recognize that this incident causes our underrepresented and traditionally marginalized students and families to be fearful, angry, and to question their own sense of belonging in our school community. My heart goes out to these students and families.” Since the incident, Monroe High School has held an assembly on racial sensitivity.