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Racist texts under investigation at Groves High

By Lisa Brody

Birmingham Public Schools and police are investigating a group Snapchat among Groves High School students containing racist language and potential threats, superintendent Dr. Embekka Roberson said.

The text exchanges allegedly dealt with disparaging and racially-based language toward the African American student population at Groves. District spokesperson Cortez Strickland could not be reached for further details.

Dr. Roberson said Dr. Susan Smith, Groves High School principal, immediately began an investigation of this matter when she became aware of the group texts, which occurred over the weekend of January 14. “While these incidents occurred after school hours and off school property, they have had a negative impact on our school learning environment,” Roberson said.

Local law enforcement has been made aware of the incidents. Groves High School is located in Beverly Hills.

“Let me be very clear: We take all reports of threats and racist words seriously and they are thoroughly investigated in accordance with our school policies and procedures,” Roberson elaborated. “Students found responsible for making threats or engaging in racist conduct can face serious disciplinary consequences, including expulsion.

“Birmingham Public Schools denounces and will not tolerate threats, intimidation, harassment or racist words or deeds. It grieves me that we must address this situation or any situation that makes a person or group fearful, disrespected, or unwanted. My heart goes out to the entire community, especially the Groves Falcon Family.”

Birmingham Public Schools as a district has been working “to create a culture of unity, civility and respect which is a focal point of our strategic plan. Our current school policies do not tolerate threats and we encourage our students to report threats to school officials or law enforcement immediately,” Roberson said.


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