Hillcrest H.S. student shown in racist photo suspended

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SIMPSONVILLE, SC (WSPA) – Greenville County Schools officials said a student who was shown in a social media post holding a firearm and a poster with racist wording on it, has been suspended from Hillcrest High School and is being recommended for expulsion.

We reported on Tuesday that Hillcrest High School’s administration was investigating the post showing a girl holding what appears to be a rifle in her left hand and in her right hand a poster with a racial slur targeting African Americans written in large letters reading, “We hang ******* for free.”

On Wednesday, Greenville County Schools spokesperson Beth Brotherton said the student has been suspended and that the district is still investigating the photograph and circumstances surrounding it.

Simpsonville Police Department officials said in a news release on Wednesday that there was no credible threats to students or staff at the high school, following an investigation into the social media post.

According to Captain Cheryl Manley, investigators were able to question the student Tuesday and found that there was no credible threat or indication that she was going to carry out actions to harm anyone.

“It goes against what people think is right, it goes against people’s beliefs, and albeit inappropriate, it’s not illegal because of freedom of speech,” Manley told 7 News.

Police said they were made aware of the photo shared on social media on Tuesday after a resource officer brought it to their attention.

Parents of students at Hillcrest High School raised their own concerns about the safety of their children and questioned why the student was not criminally charged.

“I think all of the parents, all of the teachers, everybody that’s involved deserves answers about the situation so to me it’s really personal,” said parent Donti Lewis.

The Simpsonville Police Department added the following statement:

“As with any situation the Simpsonville Police Department encounters, the safety and well-being of all students and staff are of utmost importance. Extra personnel were placed at the school after officials were made aware of the post to provide added protecton. We are currently working with the Greenville County School District to resolve any safety concerns related to this incident.”

According to Manley, the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office and the Fountain Inn Police Department are conducting their own investigation into the circumstances surrounding the photograph, including who took the photo and posted it.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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