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Benton Community student facing backlash over racist social media post

Published: Mar. 22, 2021 at 6:19 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - A Benton County Community high school student and men’s varsity football player is at the center of backlash after making a racist post on social media.

The post was directed toward a University of Illinois men’s basketball player after Sunday’s game between Loyola and Illinois, where he said, in part, “go sit your monkey [expletive] down on the couch.” The player it was directed at is black.

Janessa Carr is one of the founders of the Marion Alliance for Racial Equity and an educator in the school system. She said she wasn’t surprised to hear about this situation because conversations about race especially in predominantly white communities aren’t being had or this type of speech isn’t being looked at as bad.

Carr said schools dealing with these types of situations need to have a zero-tolerance policy, as well as a restorative component so kids actually learn from it.

“We have no bullying policies, but we keep it at no bullying. We don’t go into why it’s not OK to make fun of somebody because they’re different, and they’re not doing that so the conversations aren’t being had. There’s all these policies but until they start to have the conversation and talk about race, nothing is going to change. They don’t have to be a diverse city to be talking about these things,” Carr said. “Kids are out here making these decisions, and there’s no adults holding them accountable. It’s going to affect him getting a scholarship. It’s going to affect them getting into the college they want.”

Carr added it comes down to schools, family, peers, and white allies to hold each other accountable in situations like this.

KCRG-TV9 reached out to the district Monday morning, who responded with the following statement later in the day: “As with any allegation regarding student conduct, the District is investigating and will be following-up as appropriate. The District remains committed to ensuring a safe and inclusive learning and working environment for all our students and employees.”

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