The Caesar Rodney School District on Thursday said two students have been suspended in response to an offensive picture posted to social media that was widely re-circulated the night prior.
With the help of Delaware State Police, two students have been found responsible for the post and will face disciplinary action up to and including expulsion, the district said. The district said no criminal charges will be filed over the image, which included a racial slur.
In a statement Thursday, Superintendent Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald said: "While the act of these individuals was reprehensible and will not be tolerated, I wish to commend our students and our community for their support during this challenging time.”
The atmosphere at school on Thursday was described by some students, parents, and teachers as being "tense."
Sophmore India Shrouder said she left school early because of how uncomfortable things felt at the school after seeing the image on social media.
"It was kind of shocking because this is a school where I attend and I'm supposed to be getting my education knowing that people think this way about my race kind of hurts," she said.
India's mother, Tennille Shrouder, said found the image extremely disheartening and felt the district needed to take serious corrective steps, regardless of the intention behind the picture.
"You know what type of reaction you're looking for. Nothing good can come out of something like that. So the person who did it knew what they were doing," she said.
The school district said the Riders' mascot will be put away for the remainder of the year and community forum will be held to help determine its future.
The district said it was made aware of image Wednesday night, which was widely redistributed on social media. The district said the image shows the eponymous mascot of Caesar Rodney High School holding the piece of paper with a racial slur written on it.
"The Caesar Rodney School District is distressed that our mascot would be used in such a manner and we strongly disavow the statement. The Caesar Rodney School District and Caesar Rodney High school consider racial slurs reprehensible and are deeply disturbed by the content of this message. We have zero tolerance for this behavior," Dr. Fitzgerald said in a statement Wednesday night.
Recorded phone messages from Fitzgerald and CRHS Principal Sherry Kijowski were received by district parents and staff Wednesday night after the image spread on social media.
Caesar Rodney High School has more than 1,900 students, according to data from the state. It is named after Caesar Rodney, a politician and lawyer from Kent County who signed the Declaration of Independence.
Source : WBOC