Outrage over photo of Idaho high school students spelling out the n-word on their shirts

‘The Salmon school district does not condone, nor has ever condoned what was expressed on social media today’

Mike Bedigan
Los Angeles
Thursday 28 September 2023 01:27 BST
Superintendent addresses photo of students spelling out the n-word on shirts

Disciplinary action has been taken against several students at a high school in Idaho, after a racist photo was circulated on social media.

The photo, posted to Instagram, has since been taken down, but featured several students lined up behind another student lying on the ground, while making rude hand gestures.

The students’ clothes also reportedly spelled out a racial slur, prompting outrage from parents from the school – with multiple complaints made to local news broadcasters.

Salmon School District Superintendent Dr Troy Easterday released two videos online to address the incident saying he was “well aware” of the situation pertaining to the post.

Dr Easterday told The Independent that the students involved were disciplined on Tuesday “within two hours of the incident coming to light”, though did not specify what action had been taken.

He added that there were “further things we are looking into” but that the school’s administrative team was not working with the police.

“We will be educating our student body on this. We are actually going to be bringing in a group from the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights Education (in Boise, Idaho) to talk to our student population,” he said.

“This is not typical incident.”

In one of his online videos, Dr Easterday said: “The Salmon School District does not condone, nor has ever condoned, what was expressed on social media today.

He told local channel KTVBthat the post had not been “maliciously made” and that the school’s administrative team “did not hesitate to act”.

“Nothing has ever been brought to my desk that there’s ever been a situation like this, and that it hasn’t been taken seriously. Not while I’ve been here,” Dr Easterday said.

“Our team did not hesitate to act. We did all the right legal steps to make sure disciplinary action was taken.”

KTVB reported that it had been contacted by several outraged parents following the incident, as did East Idaho News.

One anonymous parent told East Idaho News that the post was “disgusting and a hate crime”.

Another added: “The reason why there’s hate in this community is because no one does anything about it. Period.

“These kids are old enough to know right from wrong. Parents, do better. But you can’t blame the parents for this, because some of them are 18. They’re adults. It’s disturbing.”

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