FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — A school system is investigating a series of racist and threatening Snapchat messages targeting middle school students.
Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne got copies of messages sent to students at Vickery Creek Middle School. One mother told Winne her daughter does not feel safe at school.
A document on Forsyth County Schools letterhead a mother gave Channel 2 indicates the administration met with Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office for nearly six hours to review more than 130 screenshots.
“I don’t want my daughter to feel like she doesn’t deserve to be treated like an equal. This damages your self worth in a way that you cannot imagine,” she said.
Winne spoke with a second mother whose son also received messages.
The mothers, who asked not to be identified, told us their kids are in the middle of a nightmare involving fellow students.
“He was called the N-word over and over and over. There were other things. Photographs of slaves in shackles, chains around their necks,” she said.
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The Snapchat messages involved fellow students at Vickery Creek Middle School over the first weekend in November.
“A white family took screenshots of these messages and turned it in,” the first mother said.
“It’s some of the worst language I’ve ever seen,” attorney Thomas Reynolds said. “They’re talking about whipping people, hanging them in trees."
Reynolds represents the two families and says he counted at least 60 uses of the N-word alone.
After Channel 2 asked for a comment from Forsyth County Schools, we got what was described to us as an email from the principal to parents concerning the conversation.
“11 students will be receiving disciplinary consequences for their actions,” the letter said.
But the mother whose son was targeted says he’s one of those 11 students who has been suspended for 10 days.
She says he reacted with a serious but empty threat after someone posted slave pictures and suggested it was his grandfather.
“We just lost him not too long ago. He was very hurt,” she said.
A statement on behalf of the district said, in part:
“The hateful language and racism used by these children are not tolerated in our schools. Forsyth County Schools expects and demands that all individuals are treated with integrity, dignity and respect.”
Reynolds told Winne he is investigating how the system responded to previous complaints.
The district statement also said: “We know and believe that diversity strengthens our relationships, schools and community. We ask that parents/guardians discuss with their children the importance of respect and openness.”
One of the moms said she's grateful to other families, black and white, who have reached out in support.
Cox Media Group