High School Teen Who Exposed Racist Group Chat That Discussed Killing Black Babies Was 'Hurt' By School's Response

A North Carolina high school freshman exposed a group chat involving several white students who exchanged racist remarks and disturbing comments discussing violence against black people, according to reports.

Fourteen-year-old Cenayia Edwards—who is a black student at East Wake High School in Wendell—infiltrated the chat late last month after learning about its existence from some white friends, The News & Observer reported.

In order to gain access the group—which contained two members from her school and five from Corinth Holders High School in Johnston County—she changed her avatar to a white face.

Once inside, she discovered several disturbing remarks including "#BringSlaveryBack," as well as discussion of "pulling triggers and shooting" black people, murdering black babies and repeated use of the N-word.

It appears that some of the chats took place during school, given the references to events taking place in class.

After uncovering the racist language, Edwards told her family about the group, who then alerted East Wake High School about the students who were involved.

Subsequently, the family say school officials told them that an investigation had been conducted which came to the conclusion that the students involved were not in violation of any district policies and thus no suspensions would be issued.

The family also say East Wake principal Stacey Alston—who is also black—told them that he would not be punishing the students.

However, Alston did release a statement stating that this type of behavior "is not acceptable" in the school community, either "during or after school hours."

"Comments of this nature do not reflect our values. Moreover, they are damaging to both our school and our society as a whole," Alston said. "In the near future, we will be offering opportunities for constructive dialogue among our students, staff and families about racial issues."

"These discussions have the potential to be difficult and emotional. But I am confident that we at East Wake High School have the maturity, the wisdom and, most importantly, the strength of character to engage in these conversations with one another thoughtfully and amicably," he said.

He also urged school staff to speak with students about the importance of living and working together with people of different backgrounds "in harmony."

"We strive each day to create a positive learning environment at East Wake High School,' he said. "Today I am redoubling our commitment to providing that for all students."

Wake County school district officials said they could not discuss whether or not the students involved had been disciplined, citing federal privacy laws. Subsequently, some have now accused the school of not taking the issue seriously enough.

"It's extremely egregious and troubling that the language of killing black babies and shooting black people from students is not taken seriously from school administration," community activist Kerwin Pittman said at a press conference on Thursday, the New York Daily News reported.

Edwards's family say they are now worried for the safety of their daughter and questioned the school's approach to the matter.

"This is a threat to a whole community of people, not just to one person," Cenayia Edwards's father, Corderro Edwards, told the Daily News. "For Wake County to not move and take action on this, it is not acceptable."

For her part, Cenayia Edwards also said she was concerned by the way that the issue had been handled.

"I believed in my school to take the right actions toward this, but it was evident that they did not," she said. "This situation has definitely hurt me and opened my eyes to a lot of things. But it hasn't broken me or developed any kind of hatred toward Caucasians."

Meanwhile, Corinth Holder High officials said that they had "issued consequences" to their students who were involved in the group chat, although they also would not go into details about what action had been saying it was a confidential matter.

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Stock photo: A North Carolina high school freshman has exposed a racist group chat. Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images
High School Teen Who Exposed Racist Group Chat That Discussed Killing Black Babies Was 'Hurt' By School's Response | U.S.