School in hot-seat over poor response to racist cyber-bullying

For two years, LaRhonda Cook-Snow says that her daughters have been dealing with racial harassment, since they began attending Pickerington High School North (Pickerington is less than 20 miles away from Columbus, Ohio).  Ms. Cook-Snow moved her daughters there in hopes of them attending a better school but, obviously, this ordeal has left her regretting her decision.

Both girls say that they have repeatedly been subject to racial insults.  One of the daughters, Roni, quit cheerleading after another cheerleader called her the n-word, as a “joke”.

Sadly, in the age of social media, leaving the school environment does not mean that one is no longer subject to bullying.The girls shared a couple of photos that went out via Snapchat that show the sort of racial terrorism they’ve been facing:



LaRhonda Cook-Snow says that, since this has started, she has been complaining to Pickerington High School North administration about this harassment but the school had done nothing to address it.

So, after years of being fed up, she took her complaints to the press.  Upon being contacted by a local ABC news affiliate and fearing the bad press to come,  the school finally took some action.   They say that the student who posed in the Klan robe, as well as the student who took the photo, have been disciplined, because the picture was taken in a prop room on school grounds.  However, the school is declining to say what measures they’ve taken.

On Monday, a letter was sent out, signed by Principal Mark Ulbrich and district Superintendent Valerie Browning-Thompson, reading, ironically and in part, the following (bolding mine):

“We are taking swift and firm action in dealing with recent situations at Pickerington High School School North. Those actions did not reflect the cultural sensitivity that represents the values of the school or district”.

Pickerington High School School North says it will also implement cultural sensitivity training as a “first step” in tackling its racial/cultural issues.

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