After racially-charged videos, some demand meeting with Wake Co. school leaders

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — People who are upset by recent social media videos and the Wake County School District’s response came Tuesday with a letter demanding a meeting.

The mother of the student at Wake Forest who was in a video says she wants more than talk though.

The Wake Forest incident is just one video in Wake County that’s gained national attention and sparking calls for change locally.

“You can’t change a culture until you change the system,” said mom Yolanda Speed.

Yolanda Speed’s son, Micah, is seen in the video at Wake Forest High School pulling another student down.

Micah Speed, who was suspended for five days, says it happened after months of race-related bullying.

“They allow this thing to happen. They allow the children to speak that way to one another, and it’s not stopped. It’s not interrupted,” Yolanda Speed said.

Local NAACP members say there are widespread issues.

“They’re afraid to speak out when something is happening to them they know is wrong,” said Rev. Dr. Portia Rochelle of the Raleigh-Apex NAACP.

NAACP leaders also concerned about a viral video from January where a school resource officer at Rolesville High School is seen slamming a student down.

Last week, the principal of Leesville Road Middle School called parents about yet another video where students are seen making racist comments.

“Our entire community, in some way, shape or form, has been impacted by what’s happened in our schools,” said Monika Johnson-Hostler, the chairwoman of the Wake County School Board.

Johnson-Hostler says principals will be meeting Thursday and talking about what’s happened.

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She wants concrete plans put together.

“We are absolutely committed to address the racial tensions in our school system, not by ourselves but as a community,” Johnson-Hostler said.

Yolanda Speed says her son is trying to move past the video and suspension.

“It’s not an isolated incident. It’s a culture. And, it needs to stop. And, the only way it can change is to change the system,” the mother said.

She also wants his suspension removed from his record and said that she is starting the appeal process.

Monday, there was new data from Wake County Schools showing suspensions are down 19 percent compared to five years ago.

However, there’s still a disparity when it comes to suspensions of African-American students.

On Saturday, local NAACP chapters are holding an event called “Unfair Discipline in Public Schools.”

The event will be from 10 a.m. to noon at the Martin Street Baptist Church.

They want to bring ideas from the meeting to the school board to be part of the plan to address racial issues.

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