Students at Granada Hills school call out peers for racist online messages

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As their virtual graduation approached and as their city erupted in widespread protests over the death of George Floyd, students at Granada Hills Charter High School took a stand in their own campus community against online, anti-black comments.

After reading racist online remarks that were written by fellow students in a private group chat, they called it out. They refused to stay silent. The profane comments, repeated use of the n-word and racial slurs were captured on screen grabs by an offended member of the private chat group and reposted by others on social media as an example of intolerable hate speech.

In the postings from the private chat, a student mocked Floyd, compared black people to monkeys, called them a stupid race and joked about starting a club in college to kill them.

“People were like: ‘Wow, it was disgusting. I can’t believe I go to a school with people like this,’” said Brookelynn Fenderson, 17, a graduating senior who is president of the school’s Black Student Union and temporarily reposted the messages, expressing outrage. “Granada is a very diverse school. You see different races and ethnicities and you feel very accepted. To see this really threw me off.”

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