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Schools Proposes Expelling Students Who Say Offensive Things Off Campus

Students whose off-campus conduct disrupts the academic setting could face potential expulsion under the proposal.

Hoover, AL – The Hoover Board of Education is considering a proposal that would allow the district to punish students who make offensive or racist comments off-campus.

The proposed alteration to the district’s code of conduct was created in response to at least two incidents in the past two years where students were seen using racist language in videos, WBMA reported.

The most recent video surfaced in March, and showed multiple Hoover school system students making anti-Semitic and racist comments, WBRC reported.

“F–k n—–s, f–k Jews,” one person said in the video, according to CBS News.

“Jews are fine because they’re white,” a female countered. “We just need n—–s gone. Mixed Oreos? What are you gonna do with them?”

“You stick them in concentration camps,” a male responded.

The disturbing footage was shared widely online.

“We will not stand for it,” Hoover City Schools Superintendent Kathy Murphy said. “Certainly, videos and conversations or words that have been used in our school district that we find deplorable have certainly brought us to focus on this.”

Under the proposal, students found to have violated the school’s code of conduct rules could face potential expulsion, WBMA reported.

Students would only face repercussions for off-campus behavior that disrupts the learning environment, school officials said.

“If that comes back to our school, and in any way is hurtful, demeaning, disrupts the educational environment for us. We have all intent to address those matters,” Murphy told WBRC.

“We are not going to tolerate inappropriate language and actions between, among students that come back to our school district that are hurting our children and that are disrupting the learning environment for our children,” she added to WBMA.

Many people are questioning whether or not the proposal would give schools too much authority over off-campus incidents.

“From what I’ve seen I think a lot of people are probably against the board trying to get in the kid’s life to that extent,” parent Brent Woodall told WBMA. “If something happens, they need to contact the parents and let that be handled at home. If it happens at school, yes that is the school’s responsibility.”

“I get concerned when the school wants to police things that are not school-related,” parent Deborah Lockridge agreed, according to the Hoover Sun. “I feel like it goes too far…There’s just too much gray area here that could lead to abuse.”

Others believe the proposal has been a long time coming.

“I think that it’s something that probably should have been done a while ago,” parent April Collins told WBRC. “We have to start with the students. We have to start at that young age so they will carry it for life and they’ll know that we are all equal.”

“You know we may have different colors or different backgrounds, but we cannot treat people differently because of that,” Collins added.

The school board said it has contacted the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Legal Defense Fund and the Department of Justice to get feedback about the proposal.

The Hoover Board of Education is expected to discuss and vote on the potential policy change during its next meeting on June 4, the Hoover Sun reported.

Holly Matkin - May Fri, 2019


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