Henrico, VA - After public outcry, the Henrico Police Department is conducting an investigation into a video made by some of the Short Pump Middle School football players to see if there are criminal violations, including hate crimes (video below)
The video is reported to be of some of the middle school football players "simulating sex acts over racist rants in the locker room", according to NBC 12.
Police were made aware of the video on Tuesday, October 17.
The graphic images were posted on the social media platform Snapchat, and show Short Pump Middle School football players "simulating sex in the locker room as black students are pinned to the ground with other students on top of them."
In the video, the students yelled racist remarks.
“What’s going on? He’s (expletive) a black,” a student said.
Messages were scattered throughout the video, including this message, "We're going to (expletive) the Black outta these African children from Uganda."
On Friday, the Henrico School Board announced that the team's remaining games in the fall schedule, one regular season and two post-season, would be forfeited, although practices would still continue.
They said that part of the mandatory practices will involve discussions about “reporting responsibilities, accountability, ethics, sexual harassment, and racial tolerance,” according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch .
In a statement, the School Board also said:
"As a consequence of the students’ actions that came to the school’s attention on Monday, the remaining football games for the SPMS football team will be forfeited. We acknowledge that all team members were not involved in the incident; however, we believe there are important lessons/reminders that should be reinforced with all team members.
The school division will also develop action steps for preventing such incidents in our schools. We will include staff, parent, administrator and student representatives in this dialogue. Our hope is to use this very unfortunate event as a meaningful learning opportunity for students moving forward.
Again, there is no place in HCPS for the kind of behavior portrayed in the video. We have extremely high expectations, and students who fail to meet the Code of Student Conduct standards will be addressed promptly and appropriately. While we realize many families would like to know more, we are prohibited from providing information pertaining to students.”
Some parents of middle school students were unhappy that they didn't learn about the video until they read it in the newspaper on Wednesday morning.
The parent of one student who was in the video said, "I'm very concerned about his mental status and his well-being."
Mental health experts have called for the students involved to get mental health counseling, while some community groups have said that the investigation should be turned over to federal authorities.
Lorraine Wright of the human rights group, 'I Vote For Me', said that the group will be filing a federal complaint with the office of civil rights
Officials from Henrico schools said that they are aware of the video, and that they "are taking action."
Because this incident involves juveniles, the video has been very heavily edited and is available below from NBC 12's report.