NJ school boosts security after blackface and racial slur videos
MAPLE SHADE — A South Jersey high school saw added security this week as a result of two racially insensitive videos believed to have been created by students at Maple Shade High School.
The added security comes as districts across the state beefed up patrols following the deadly mass shooting last week at a Florida high school.
The Maple Shade videos, however, did not make threats against the school. Instead, one showed a white girl in blackface while the other showed a girl using a racial slur against black people.
Copies of the Snapchat videos were circulated on other social media platforms by outraged students and parents.
As of the 2015-16 school year, Maple Shade High School's enrollment was nearly 900, with 571 counted as white.
Philly.com reported that in the video of the girl in blackface, she says: "Y’all preach about your ancestors so much then go tf back to Africa.”
The original Instagram post has been deleted.
Superintendent Beth Norcia said in a letter on the district website that police presence in the Maple Shade district was increased due to concern from parents and the community. Without mentioning the specific contents of the video, Norcia wrote that she is "following our Harrassment, Intimidation and Bullying Policy."
Norcia told the newspaper that the district only became aware of the video on Sunday and believes four students may have been involved.
"There is absolutely no tolerance in our schools for derogatory statements, racism and violence. Social media has exacerbated the problem, and we are asking our parents for help in monitoring their children’s posts and talking to their children about offensive and inappropriate language and posts," Norcia wrote.
Norcia said that administrators and student leaders were due in classrooms on Wednesday to talk about "unity, diversity and the dangers of social media, specifically Snapchat."
Snapchat is a social media platform allowing users to post pictures that are only available for a short time. According to the digital traffic website statista.com, the free service has 187 million users.
Norcia has not yet returned a message from New Jersey 101.5 seeking comment.