Police in one Ohio community are reportedly “actively pursuing charges” against a group of black elementary school children who, during recess, forced their white counterparts to say “Black Lives Matter” or get beat up.
Video footage from the altercation, which occurred at Kenwood Elementary School on Friday, Feb. 10th, shows white students being dragged to the side of the playground and then physically assaulted for refusing to say “Black Lives Matter” on camera.
Update: The City of Springfield, Ohio has released surveillance footage of the elementary school incident from Feb. 10 where white students were held hostage & assaulted on the playground by black students who wanted to force them to pledge allegiance to #BLM. pic.twitter.com/MFTrneH12G
— Andy Ngô ️ (@MrAndyNgo) March 3, 2023
The school reported the incident three days later on Monday, Feb. 13th.
The school principal told officers that a group of black students had assembled white students on one part of the playground and “forced them to state ‘Black Lives Matter’ against their will,” according to a police report reviewed by the Springfield News-Sun.
The principal added that the few white students who tried to evade being forced to say “Black Lives Matter” were “chased down and escorted, dragged or carried” back to the relevant part of the playground and then assaulted.
“They basically told him to get down on his knees and say ‘BLM,’ and if he didn’t, that they was going to beat him up and all that,” one victim’s parent, Ryan Springer, told local station WHIO.
“I’m not angry about my son saying Black Lives Matter. Everybody’s life does matter. I’m more about the assault of it, of him being forced down on the ground,” he added.
Back when the incident occurred, police told WHIO that they were investigating whether what happened constituted a hate crime. It’s not clear whether hate crime charges are still being considered.
What’s known is that some local parents wish the cops weren’t involved.
“I want the city, the community, to understand that these were kids, these weren’t adults. They were playing,” local resident Otis Williams, who evidently has no children attending Kenwood Elementary School, told WHIO.
“Williams, who said he is part of a group called the Peacekeepers, which works to focus children on education, wants the community to come together to talk about the incident and figure out a way to stop it so it doesn’t happen again,” according to WHIO.
Members of the wider public appear to staunchly disagree with this slap-on-the-wrist approach.
Look (*Language warning):
If roles were reversed, they would charge with hate crime.
— Mark Contris (@valaly) March 3, 2023
This is sickening!!!
They all need to spend time behind bars in juvenile facilities, except charge that biggest one as an adult and with felony assault for starters, minimum 60 days sentence.
— Chris Chambers (@ChrisB_Chambers) March 3, 2023
Seems like these kids were taught to be racist, probably by their parents. That’s usually what happens. Lock up the parents and send the kids to Juvenile Detention.
— Richard Wolff, US Navy (retired) ⚓️ (@Vet0917) March 3, 2023
What is it you lot normally say ” I need to know what happened before the video” on a serious note I hope all these children are punished for there actions. This behaviour should never be allowed to happen. #ifuckinghatebullies
— Sylvia (@ChelleyDawson) March 3, 2023
Did the school allow this to go on? Where are the adults? Were these black students punished? You better get a handle on this now. Later on they will have guns. If that was my child that was being abused I would be furious. This is no minor altercation between classmates.
— sassylassie2 (@sassylassie2) March 3, 2023
It’s unclear whether the black students are still at the school. In a statement, Springfield City School District officials refused to specify how exactly they’re handling what happened.
“The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) prevents the District from disclosing personally identifiable information or details about the discipline of a child to anyone other than their parent or guardian,” they said.
“As it relates to this incident concerning participants and staff involved, the Springfield City School District followed appropriate procedures in accordance with Board Policy. Moving forward from this experience, the District is working closely with counselors, mental health experts and multiple community partners and agencies to provide support to children and staff directly involved, as well as those not directly involved.”
However, district officials also said in a separate statement that they do “not approve of and will not tolerate the reported behavior.”
The local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has also involved itself in the matter.
“Springfield NAACP president Denise Williams said she wants to work with the school following this incident and has received multiple calls from parents outlining racial concerns at the elementary school,” according to the News-Sun.
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