POQUOSON, Va. (AP/WVEC) — A high school in Virginia has forfeited its upcoming football game against a rival after videos emerged of students making threats and racial slurs against their opponents.
Snapshot of video courtesy: WVEC
The Virginian-Pilot reports the videos show students from Poquoson High School threatening to beat people up from York County, who was supposed to be Poquoson's opponent Friday.
The videos were recorded at a party which did not take place on school property. The location appeared to be in a large room of a home or in a club room. In the background, you can see several students around a table filled with red Solo cups.
People began sharing the videos on Twitter, which led to a lot of outrage.
Superintendent Jennifer Parish confirmed some students in the videos are on the football team. She condemned the actions and said she decided Poquoson should forfeit the game for safety and to help students understand their behavior has consequences.
Parish provided the following statement:
The language and behavior in these videos have no place in our schools or in our community. We find it abhorrent, and, while these videos were created outside of school, we are taking action within the scope of our Code of Conduct and under division policy.
One action that we are taking is to forfeit Friday’s game against York High. While we know some will be disappointed, we have a responsibility to do everything we can to keep our students safe. We also have a responsibility to help our students understand that behavior has consequences.
As a school division, we will continue to take a strong and unified stance against racist behavior and language. Our schools welcome and serve all students, and we stand firm in our effort to maintain safe educational spaces for all students.
The videos were posted Thursday to Snapchat, then quickly spread to Twitter and other online platforms.
The Virginia Department of Education records "Fall Membership" for school divisions across the state each year. It's a snapshot of the makeup of students on September 30.
For the 2018-2019 academic year, the Fall Membership for Poquoson High School when it came to full-time student enrollment looked like this:
Total Full-time Students: 2,119
American Indian or Alaska Native: 8
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 10
Non-Hispanic, two or more races: 56