FFHS principal recommends long-term suspensions

The two students responsible for the racist graffiti discovered last week in the boys' locker room at First Flight High School, both under the age of 16, have been charged with racial intimidation and vandalism, according to Captain Kevin Duprey of the Dare County Sheriff's Office. The charges are misdemeanors. 

        Meanwhile, First Flight High School (FFHS) principal Tim Albert has recommended that the students — who wrote the words “niggers” and “kill all niggers” in the locker room — be disciplined with suspensions for the remainder of the school year. FFHS administrators also said that faculty would be debriefed about the incident this week, and that officials would reinforce protocols regarding racially-charged incidents.

      Dare County Communications Director Keith Parker told the Sentinel that Albert’s recommendation for the long-term suspension of the students would be reviewed by Superintendent John Farrelly.

      Principals in North Carolina public schools can only suspend students for up to 10 days before making a formal request to the district superintendent for a long-term suspension. Under North Carolina law, parents of students facing a long-term suspension can request a hearing prior to a determination.

      According to the Dare County Board of Education Policy Manual, there are eight levels of school-initiated disciplinary action – Level 1 being a conference and Level 8 being expulsion. Long-term suspension, being assigned community service or assigned to an alternative school is listed at Level 6 and is superintendent initiated.

      Videos of the racist graffiti began circulating locally on social media on the evening of March 26. The following morning, on March 27, the video was posted on the Outer Banks social media site called OBX Locals by a student, who wrote, “This stuff keeps happening here and it’s terrible.”

      While school officials couldn’t confirm when the graffiti was discovered, the student said the incident had occurred on March 26. Parker said the graffiti was removed as soon as it was discovered.

      Also on the morning of March 27, Superintendent Farrelly sent an email to families in the school system in which he addressed the graffiti. “I have been made aware of the disturbing videos and photos that were posted on social media,” he wrote. “The video was filmed inside of the First Flight High School boys’ locker room. The content contained vulgar, hateful, and racist language.”

      In the email, the superintendent added that, “Any student, or students, that are found responsible for this incident will be disciplined to the fullest extent in accordance with the Dare County Schools Code of Student Conduct.”

Publisher’s Note: After consideration, we decided to spell out the offensive and racist language found in the locker room because we believe that using euphemisms or shorthand in lieu of the actual language can have the effect of sanitizing what has occurred and de-sensitizing people to those messages.


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(1) comment


I think a suspension is a good idea, but what might be better is a shorter suspension where the kids don’t lose the rest of the year and then fall really behind, and most importantly, some kind of education that will change their way of thinking. Meet8ng with families of color at the OBX, a trip to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and to the Holocaust museum.
Punish them, yes, but also enlighten them.

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