The administration of a prestigious New York high school shut down classes early Monday following a racist incident where one Black student was targeted with a racial epithet.
The New York Daily News reports two female Eleanor Roosevelt High School students -- reportedly white and Middle Eastern -- wrote “n****rs don’t have rights” on a tampon March 15 and handed it to the only Black freshman at the institution.
The unidentified Black teen was reportedly flustered from the incident and shared what happened with friends. Informed students then told school authorities, eventually leading to the suspension of the two unidentified young perpetrators.
Principal Dimitri Saliani ended classes early on Monday to address the issue with students, staff and guardians to unearth what might have caused the students to act with such discriminatory intent.
The incident is one among many in New York City where the racial disparities and segregation of schools has proven a detriment to students of color throughout the city.
Earlier this month, Blavity reported one of New York City's most elite high schools only admitted seven Black students during its most recent admissions season. The percentage is disparagingly low, given the fact that Black and Hispanic students comprise more than two-thirds of New York City's public school student body.
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Eleanor Roosevelt High, in particular, currently has a student body of only 3 percent Black students and 64 percent white students. In the overall public system, white students compose only 15 percent of the public school body.
Many students at the school have expressed their disgust with the suspended students' actions and their desire for a change, beginning with the school's racial makeup.
“I think that El-Ro really preaches this whole diverse and this whole accepting environment where it's actually really hard to create that when you have an almost entirely white school body,” one student told reporters. “It makes it seem like the school is lying.”
Many students, parents, administrators and government officials have echoed the student's sentiments in recent years from Mayor Bill de Blasio to New York City School Chancellor Richard A. Carranza.
“We’re also once again confronted by an unacceptable status quo at our specialized high schools," Carranza told Blavity earlier this month. "We need to eliminate the single test for specialized high school admissions now.”
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