Lexington, SC – Four South Carolina high school students have been kicked out of school after posting a video mocking the death of George Floyd to TikTok.
White Knoll High School Principal Ted Daughtery announced the suspensions in an email to the school community on Wednesday, according to The State.
The school said that the video the students created was less than 10 seconds long and had been shared to multiple social media platforms, WIS reported.
The video showed one student on the ground with his hands cuffed behind his back.
Then another student dressed as a police officer put his knee on the neck of the other student, and then the student on the ground started shaking as the camera panned away, according to WIS.
A petition that condemned the video and called for the school to address the situation was launched on Nov. 2.
“Racism has always been within our school that goes without doubt. However seeing it so bluntly out there is terrifying,” Arieles Rivera wrote in the petition.
“As many of you know three students posted a tiktok recreating and mocking the event of George Floyd’s death. No matter your opinion on George Floyd himself we can agree that mocking his death is immoral, racist, and wrong,” Rivera wrote.
The email from the principal to the school community the next day said that school administrators began investigating as soon as the video was brought to their attention, WIS reported.
“Though the video was created off-campus at a private home and shared outside of school hours, the unacceptable and disturbing actions of these students negatively impact their school and all of our students,” Daughtery wrote in the email.
He said that it didn’t matter that the video wasn’t made at school or during school hours, The State reported.
“The four students will not be allowed to return to school, nor participate in any athletic or extracurricular activities, for the remainder of the 2021–2022 school year,” the principal wrote.
Daughtery said White Knoll High School was coordinating with the Lexington 1 school district to make mental health services available through Lexington County Community Mental Health Center for anyone who is having trouble processing the video, The State reported.
“We strongly condemn the actions of these students,” Lexington 1 Schools Superintendent Greg Little added in the email. “Racism, in any form, will not be tolerated by our students or staff and will be addressed immediately.”