Viral racist TikTok Video at high school leads to student walkout

Image via Wikipedia

Hundreds of students walked out of their high school in Oregon last week when a video began to go viral on TikTok featuring a student saying racial slurs. While the video has since been removed, it featured “a female student sitting in bed methodically recites racial slurs for Black people, Muslims, Asians, and Latinos,” according to NBC News.

“I didn’t believe it, I was like, ‘No way,'” Sean Sorko-Ram, a 17-year-old Black student at the school, told NBC. “You hear someone say the N-word, you hear things here and there, but all of them together in one video… The best word I can use is flabbergasted.”

The video fired up students throughout Tigard High School, which sparked the walkout. According to the school’s official publication called The Paw, it seems that the issues may stem from the school’s failure to enforce its policies about hate speech.

“In my speech I talked about how the administration was being hypocritical about their policy when it comes to hate speech,” Henry Castillo, president of the school’s No Place For Hate club explained. “I don’t think that the policies should be changed but I do think that they have to actually [be] enforced.”

School principal Brian Bailey addressed the student body and staff in an email on the situation.  He wrote that their “focus will be to address the individuals who have caused harm and equally as important, to provide spaces and resources to those who have been harmed by this careless act.”

It looks like the school will have a lot of work to do as, according to Sorko-Ram, racism is quite common within the school. She has even been called the N-word during class. “I was a freshman, and I was in English class,” she said. “There was this boy who sat next to me and thought it would be funny to call me an ‘ape n*****,’ hard ‘r.’ In that moment you just kind of sit there and you’re like, ‘What?'”

While students like Sorko-Ram want to see the student expelled, the school has commented that this is not the usual action taken in cases like this.