The St. Petersburg NAACP branch pushed back on claims from Pinellas County school officials that a video posted to social media was racially insensitive. The footage depicted one white student whipping another white student, and the school disciplined some of the students involved following the incident.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that St. Petersburg NAACP president Maria Scruggs wrote a letter to Pinellas school superintendent Mike Grego, asking him to reconsider disciplining the students. "While we appreciate the district attempting to exercise racial sensitivity in this matter, we have concluded there was no need to." She calls the action an "overreaction" on behalf of the school board.
Scruggs added, "We are very concerned that this type of overreaction desensitizes the public to the substantive and systemic issues that lead to racist practices and behaviors."
The video was taken on a school dress-up day with the theme 'Country vs. Country Club.' One student is shown wearing a straw hat while whipping another student. Classmates who were nearby during the time of the incident say that there was no mention of race and that it was just horseplay between two male students.
Though we do not know what punishment given was, both students involved in the incident have appealed their discipline.