A group of boys at Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau High School will face discipline after school officials investigated claims that they used racist language and made violent threats when referring to one of their classmates.
In a Facebook post earlier this week, the classmate’s mother wrote that the boys had bullied and threatened her son in a private group chat.
She wrote that the boys posted a photo of her son and exchanged messages that included “tar & feather this (N-word),” “hang em” and “shoot a (N-word) in the head with a shotgun.”
One of the boys posted a photo of four firearms, claiming he was going hunting, she said.
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“Threatening to shoot someone in the head is not EVER a joke,” the mother wrote on Facebook. “This is harassment, racial harassment, intimidation, bullying, and cyberbullying! My son deserves to feel safe at school!”
Superintendent Aaron Engel addressed the issue in a letter to staff Wednesday, writing that the situation “is as bad as it sounds.”
“The bottom line is that we are better than this. We are appalled by the incident and are taking it very seriously,” Engel wrote. “There is simply no place for racist or threatening behavior in our schools. Our top priority is to ensure every student feels safe and welcome. We will do everything in our power to prevent a situation like this one from arising ever again.”
Engel added that the boys will face “appropriate discipline per the school district’s disciplinary code.” He did not specify the nature or severity of the discipline.
In his letter, Engel also wrote that law enforcement conducted a safety assessment and addressed potential criminal issues.
Kyle Farris can be reached at 608-791-8234 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Kyle_A_Farris.
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