Parents, activists concerned about safety after racist photo surfaces


Some parents are concerned about their childrens’ safety after a racist photo surfaced on social media and spread quickly Tuesday.

The photo shows a teen holding what appears to be a rifle in her left hand. In her right, she holds on a poster with a racial slur targeting African Americans written in large letters– the sign reads ” We hang ******* for free.”

“I was ahgast to see the picture,” said activist Efia Nwangaza, who is the director of The Malcolm X Center for Self-Determination in Greenville, S.C.

“It’s critical that the value of the lives and the safety of black children is made imminently paramount in this situation,” Nwangaza said.

The photo was likely taken three or four months ago, but surfaced on social media as recently as Monday night. It’s unclear who posted the photo, but it is clear the teen is a student at Hillcrest High School.

Greenville County Schools’ director of communications Beth Brotherton said the school district immediately asked law enforcement to investigate the situation.

“It is our understanding at this point that criminal charges are not going to be filed,” she said.

That’s not the desired outcome of one parent with whom 7 News spoke.

“At the very least, she should learn that…the reason why she’s receiving the response that she’s getting is because of the output that she put,” said Donti Lewis, whose son is a ninth grader at Hillcrest.

“To be honest with you…to have your kids tied up in the middle of it, it’s that much more heartbreaking because you can’t do anything personally,” Lewis said.

Simpsonville Police did respond to respond to 7 News’ request for information.

According to Brotherton, the ball is now in Greenville County Schools’ court when it comes to disciplining the student.

“It became something where we now need to get in touch with the student and her family and address this according to our behavior code,” Brotherton said.

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