PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Thursday morning organization leaders and concerned citizens met to address a recent controversial video.
The video shows a Mosley High School student holding a gun and making multiple racial slurs towards African Americans. The post went viral and contains a number of racial slurs.
Now, community members are speaking out.
“Here in Bay County, we should not tolerate hate speech and such racist behavior,” said NAACP Bay County branch president Dr. Rufus Wood.
They want elected officials in the county to take action.
“The use of racial slurs in this incident, we can say was disrespectful, it was despicable, disgusting and deeply offensive,” Wood said.
The Bay County Sheriff’s Office is not charging the boy, saying that in spite of the deeply offensive comments made by the person in the video, no crime has been committed
State Attorney, Glenn Hess, also issued a statement to News 13 agreeing with the Sheriff’s Office.
This is what Superintendent Bill Husfelt said in a statement Thursday afternoon:
“From the moment I was first notified about the video in question, I have said (to the media, the public and to those in attendance at the School Board meeting earlier this week) I can speak for all members of the School Board and myself when I say that we find the content of this video to be abhorrent and disgusting. We have worked closely with our law enforcement partners at the Bay County Sheriff’s Department regarding this issue and, again, note that no specific threats were made in the video and no specific schools were referenced resulting in no charges at this time. Legal charges are not our purview but student discipline certainly is. Individual student discipline is, however, confidential per federal law and so we’re not at liberty to discuss the consequences assigned to this student or to any other student involved in any other disciplinary event.
It seems that racial tensions are at the forefront of everyone’s minds throughout our country and we join those in our country who deplore racism and discrimination. We remain committed to ensuring that our students are as safe as they possibly can be at school and we will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners.
We heard, at the School Board meeting, the requests for a diversity council and for a workshop in the near future and we look forward to exploring those options and any others deemed viable. In the meantime, however, we want to make sure that our community members know that we do not tolerate behavior of this nature at school but that the behavior, and thoughts, expressed in the community by students and adults alike are the responsibility of everyone in the community. We encourage all families to talk about the impact of hate speech, and discriminatory and threatening statements, to ensure we are all tackling the issues associated with racism together and as a cohesive community. Everyone agrees that racism is an issue for our entire country to tackle together … it’s not only an issue for schools … and we look forward to some thoughtful discussion, meaningful conversations and community building activities.”