Two high school seniors from Georgia learned that being racist on social media can have consequences on their academic lives.
A male and a female student—both unidentified by Carrollton City Schools officials—were expelled from Carrollton High School after they posted a "racially offensive" TikTok video.
In the video, the two White students used racial slurs while mimicking a cooking show demonstrating how to make Black people by using "ingredients" such as "eat watermelon and fried chicken," "don't have a dad" and "rob people."
PhD researcher Lynx Ekoule-Nseke captured the video and re-posted it on his Twitter account exposing the students' identities as Stephanie Freeman and Jeffrey Hume.
Warning: The video contains defamatory and racist language.
The girl’s name is Stephanie Freeman (IG: @/steph_freeman) and she’s a senior at Carrollton High School. Jeffrey Hu… https://t.co/vFWtLW0P3i— Ekl.nsk (@Ekl.nsk)1587109951.0
Carrollton High School student Juan Nievs told CBS 46 he was shocked to discover his classmates had made the TikTok video.
"I walk through the halls with those folks and to see that they think about us like that.... it made me angry."
Terrell Carmichael, who also knows both students in the video, said:
"I was mad, like angry. They would not normally talk like this, it was a complete surprise to everybody in our school."
People were furious over the video's blatant racism in which the N-word was used.
@lynx_dr @SpeakerShinjini My 17 year old daughter had more common sense at birth than these 2 have at 18. DEPLORABLES— ECMkat (@ECMkat)1587137681.0
@lynx_dr I’m sure their parents would enjoy seeing how their children are benefitting society.— Dianne Callahan (@Dianne Callahan)1587134509.0
@DianneCallaha16 @lynx_dr Sadly, there's a pretty good chance they learned this behavior from their parents.— Lee Brock (@Lee Brock)1587139214.0
@ydhyolo @lynx_dr Why do people continue they can't believe this is happening in this day and age? It occurs daily overtly and covertly.— 🌹Tonya F. McKinley🌹 (@🌹Tonya F. McKinley🌹)1587248109.0
Carrollton High School's principal, David Brooks, launched an investigation after the video went viral.
Brooks said in a statement:
"Even if the offending incident was recorded after-school hours, it doesn't alleviate the students' responsibility to uphold a high standard of behavior."
The two students were expelled by 3 p.m. on Friday.
According to the tweet below, Jeffrey Hume was also also kicked off his wrestling team.
Stephanie Freeman and Jeffrey Hume, seniors at Carrollton High School Thought their future employers and colleges… https://t.co/R8vqVA3tfp— StanceGrounded (@StanceGrounded)1587145149.0
But this user predicted the general contents of an all-too formulaic apology would be coming.
@GAFollowers They 100% will say: “I never meant to offend anyone and I’m sorry if I did. I made a poor choice and… https://t.co/dmCXvSAmQD— Jordan Saunders (@Jordan Saunders)1587166931.0
A tweet with screenshots of Stephanie Freeman's inevitable denial of responsibility and pseudo apology was shared on Twitter.
In the post, Freeman admitted to posting the video, but blamed it all on her boyfriend. She said she allowed him "normalize" his racism with her which is the only reason she used racial slurs and created and posted a racist video on TikTok.
She also pleaded with social media users to leave her alone and to not contact her college because "one mistake should not ruin a life."
@lynx_dr Looks like Stephanie shouldn't be attending UWG either. Not the type of student needed on any college camp… https://t.co/hewvl0kswj— Denesha Taylor (@Denesha Taylor)1587176546.0
Freeman continued saying she was going to dedicate her life to God, so she deserves no repercussions for her actions.
She added "threatening, bullying and cancelling" her would not "resolve the world's problems" and urged everyone else to seek God.
Finally, she begged everyone to stop sharing her TikTok video.
After lamenting that "it just isn't fair" she accused users of not "caring what's in [her] heart or what [she's] really like."
A screenshot of Hume's apology was captured as well.
Similarly to Freeman, he said it wasn't right to have "thousands of people subject my family to abuse and bullying" and "two wrongs does not make a right." He assured people that it "does not reflect who I am" and that he has "friends of all races, especially black people."
He stated it was "just a joke" and asked "why is everyone so mad."
Hume did not address Freeman's assertion that he is racist and he lead her astray.
People were unforgiving over their apologies coming only after their expulsion.
@AHPPodcast @lynx_dr Did they just copy pasted eachother’s apology—??????? i—????— Toni 🐉 戰士 (@Toni 🐉 戰士)1587291932.0
@AHPPodcast @lynx_dr I stopped reading when he said “I have friends of all races”— 25th Baam : NOP - Not in the Playoffs 🤦🏾♂️ (@25th Baam : NOP - Not in the Playoffs 🤦🏾♂️)1587305600.0
@joshsuponcic3 I don't know their Twitter handles. What I do know is: she's changed her Tiktok handle and made her… https://t.co/ybaIitrT4C— Ekl.nsk (@Ekl.nsk)1587144435.0
The city of Carrollton issued the following statement:
"This week a video was posted to social media by two members of our Carrollton community. The video depicts two Carrollton High School students using racist stereotypes and disparaging language to put down other members of our community. The video has been picked up by media outlets across the country and gone viral."
"Mayor Cason and the Carrollton City Council are saddened and embarrassed that this video was made. Carrollton is an incredible city with a diverse population. We do not believe this reflects the character of our community. We do, however, believe in the power of this community to recognize and stand up in the face of evil. We publicly denounce this video and ask that we come together in kindness, understanding, and mutual respect."