Students at an Arkansas high school staged a sit-in to protest the suspension of a Black student who was beaten up during a fight initiated by a white aggressor during school hours.
Shocking cell phone video of the fight surfaced last week, showing what happened in the Fordyce High School boy's locker room. In the video, a Black student is getting dressed while a white bully is repeating comments about the teen's mother. The video shows the Black student ignoring the insults and even tries to walk away at one point, but other boys in the locker room encourage the white student to keep going. The Black boy eventually responds to the verbal and physical assaults, after he's hit with an object.
The white student puts the Black teen in a head lock, rendering him unconscious at which point other white students kick him in the head and stomps him in the back.
The two-minute clip was shared by thousands, fueling conversations around bullying and school administrator's responses to the fight. Officials decided to suspend both of the boys for ten days even though the video shows the Black student being attacked first.
Members of the student boy organized a protest and staged a sit-in on Friday (March 4) in response to the punishment and to call on school leaders to pay more attention to reports of bullying.
The school's principal was caught on video saying that he "admires" the students' using their "right" to protest but insinuated that they were being disruptive to school activities and possibly blocking leaders' abilities to bring programs to the school to address the issue.
"Why, if this has been going on since November, why didn't y'all deal with it then?" one student asks. According to Fox 16, several state lawmakers have responded to the video and vowed to lend their support in addressing bullying at schools across the state.