CROMWELL, CT (WFSB) - Action was taken by school officials in Cromwell following a report of an "extremely racist" social media post.

Superintendent Thomas McDowell released a statement about what happened on Thursday morning.

"Disciplinary action has been taken and we will continue to promote diversity training and presentations as were recently completed throughout our schools this spring," McDowell said.

He said they became aware of the video post on Wednesday and met with the involved student on Thursday. The student has not been publicly identified.

The video involves one student, who is going into the 11th grade, in an "Uncle Sam" hat talking to himself as another character in blackface.

"We are going to say the n-word," the student said.

The blackface character bursts through a door and obscenities are exchanged.

The video ends with the white student beating up the blackface character and referencing the Trayvon Martin case.

"[Thursday] morning we took appropriate action and put into place appropriate steps to ensure that the safety of all our students was our paramount concern," McDowell said.

McDowell acknowledged that social media has its benefits but said it can also be damaging to individuals, families and the community at large.

"Cromwell is a community that takes pride in its diverse population," he said. "Within our school system we always promote the idea that every individual is unique and should be valued and respected regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or economic background."

McDowell called the video an "anomaly" and said it does not represent the student body, the schools or the community.

He added that students in all four schools in the district went through cultural diversity training this past year, and the district plans to continue promoting diversity.

"I saw that video and it's one of the most disturbing videos I've ever seen. I felt like my kids and other kids that are not white are essentially being threatened in that video," Rahsaan Yearwood said. 

Rahsaan Yearwood is a Cromwell father of six, and two of his children go to Cromwell High School. 

"The first thing you want to ask them is, 'are you ok, do you feel ok?'" Yearwood said. 

Yearwood is glad Cromwell's superintendent spoke out against the video and promised the student will face disciplinary action, but he feels district leaders need to sit down with students and parents of color as soon as possible. 

"I need to be assured that the school is taking steps to make sure when they return in August that they are going to be safe and protected," Yearwood said. 

Yearwood wants the district take steps to raise cultural awareness by creating a detailed plan on how to incorporate diversity into every aspect of the school to prevent this type of hateful speech. 

McDowell said the student showed great remorse and that the video was never supposed to be viewed by the public.

"This doesn’t define what Cromwell High is, but in a way it kind of does because these are the students who attend your school and these are the same students who make the other students feel uncomfortable," said Makenzie Sweeney of Cromwell.

McDowell did not release the details of the student's punishment. However, Channel 3 was told that the action will start at the beginning of the next school year.

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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(13) comments


When did our public schools appoint themselves as the PC police? Unless this was created at school or posted on some school web page, this is none of the school's business. The schools are now acting like they are our slave masters. This is something for the parents of the youth to handle, not the school.

Well Educated Liberal

Racism, hatred and discrimination is the responsibility of EVERYONE! Doesn't matter where it was created or posted, those involved must be arrested, charged and convicted of a hate crime and locked up! Life without parole! No exceptions! No excuses! #Warren/Harris2020 #HillaryisMYPresident #I'mStillWithHer #neverdrumpf #resist #impeach #LockHimUp #FreedomFromReligion #BanAllGuns


Exactly! Much to much government overreach

Well Educated Liberal

Disciplinary action by the school? NO! The only action that should be taken here is to arrest every single racist involved. Not only the ones in the video, the ones that took the video, witnessed it, and anyone that knew about it and didn't report it. Furthermore, the parents should be arrested too. This is a HATE CRIME!!! No excuses. The blame also falls on drumpftler and his deplorable worshippers. He supports and encourages this type of behavior and directs the police (who are racist too) not to charge people. Enough is Enough! Lock drumpf, dense and the rest of the toothless repukes up. #Warren/Harris2020 #HillaryisMYPresident #I'mStillWithHer #neverdrumpf #resist #impeach #LockHimUp #FreedomFromReligion #BanAllGuns


Maybe you need to be arrested for being a liberal fascist!




It's called Free Speech


This seems to be filmed at the students house. If so it's none of the schools business. Sorry if you don't like it but to bad.


I agree they can’t take it down, but they can certainly respond to it and punish those who made it. Freedom of speech rights do not cover videos that could be seen as a threat of physical violence toward an ethnic group. Once it’s a threat, it’s no longer free speech. Morally, it’s disgusting.

Well Educated Liberal

It can be taken down! They committed a racist hate crime! This is drumpftler and the rethugliklans fault for allowing it! Lock them all up!!!

Well Educated Liberal

Your racism is showing, not that racists care. Doesn't matter where it was filmed, it's racist and they committed a hate crime. Anyone who disagrees is just as guilty of racism as they are.


Just because you found something offensive does not make it a crime. Well educated is the last thing you are.

Well Educated Liberal

I have two Master's Degrees. Very few people have the qualifications to question my statements. Especially neocon repukes. If racism and hatred doesn't offend you, then you are not part of the problem, you ARE the problem! Let me guess, you voted for drumpftler? #Warren/Harris2020 #HillaryisMYPresident #I'mStillWithHer #neverdrumpf #resist #impeach #LockHimUp #FreedomFromReligion #BanAllGuns

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