A video uploaded to Facebook has gone viral after a group of Montgomery County middle school students were heard chanting disturbing lyrics on the bus ride to school.
The video has caused outrage, saddened hearts and concern amongst many parents. One father in particular, B. Jamar Long, took to social media to voice his concerns.
Long’s daughter, a student at Robert Frost Middle School in Rockville, was on the bus Tuesday when the incident occurred and she recorded the students. Long uploaded the video to his Facebook page. It has been viewed over 172,000 times and over 10,000 shares.
In the caption of the video, Long states, “So our daughter had to experience racism today on her school bus from Robert Frost Middle School in Montgomery County MD. They are singing 1,2,3,4 how many n****** are in my store. I am outraged and I refuse to let this slide. Please help me make this viral. Repost everywhere!”
Montgomery County Public Schools are investigating the video.
In a statement from the Senior Communications Specialist of the Department of Public Information and Web Services of Montgomery County Public Schools:
“The school is aware and is investigating the incident. It was a Montgomery County School bus. They will be sending a letter out to their community today and making it clear that this type of behavior is unacceptable and does not represent the values of their school and community.”
Montgomery County Public Schools explained the students were actually quoting a Vine video that was actually made to draw attention to racial profiling in stores.
School officials said the students will be disciplined.
“In their minds, they think it’s funny,” said Frost principal Dr. Joey Jones. “They just think it’s funny. Certainly, when you use that word, it is offensive to most people and it certainly makes people feel uncomfortable. So again, we are going to use this as a teachable moment to share with our students so we can understand each other and learn more about each other’s cultures and be able to move forward.”
The school also sent out a letter home to parents Wednesday afternoon saying:
“Good afternoon Frost Parents, Students, and Staff:
“The purpose of my call is to inform you of an incident that occurred on one of the school buses yesterday, Tuesday, September 20, 2016. While students were being transported home, some of our students engaged in a chant that included the “n-word” that is based on a social media video that addresses issues of racial profiling. The bus driver stopped the bus and addressed the students involved in the chant.
“An investigation revealed that a diverse group of students including students who are African American, Latino, and Asian were involved in saying the chant.
“Parents of the students have been contacted and disciplinary action will be taken in accordance with MCPS Student Code of Conduct. This behavior is both offensive and inappropriate and does not reflect the positive values of our students and the school community. While this experience has been upsetting, we will use this as a teachable moment for our community. In the coming days, students, parents, and the community will have an opportunity to discuss issues regarding race and how we can educate each other about our cultures and concerns. Finally, as an African-American educator, this incident is personally very disturbing and we must address this incident and issues of race so we all can move forward, together. If you have any questions or concerns please contact me at 301-279-3949. Thank you for your continued support. Have a good evening. Good-bye.”