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Updated: Leon Schools, Law Enforcement Investigating 'Appalling' Video Of Chiles HS Student


The Leon County school district is calling a video circulating on social media of a Chiles High School student, “disgusting” and condemning the post.

The video shows a student appearing to be driving while shooting a bb gun out of a window and yelling racial slurs. In a strongly worded statement on twitter, the district says “we're aware of the disgusting and appalling video circulating on social media,” and notes it and law enforcement are investigating. 

Later, in a statement to reporters, Chiles High School Principal Joe Burgess said, "we do not condone these actions and though they were made by Chiles students, it is not a reflection of our student body. We will continue to work with our students and our community to provide guidance to all students, especially those who would act in such an inappropriate manner."

He says there was no threat to the campus at any time. While the school's investigation has concluded a law enforcement investigation is ongoing. 

Superintendent Rocky Hanna says the district has "zero tolerance" for bullying and hate speech but has little control over what students do on their own time and off campus. 

Yet he says he was "sickened" by what he saw on the video and that such incidents should be "used to educate children that these actions and words are unacceptable in our society."

Chiles High is not unfamiliar with similar controversies. Last year around this same time a few students displaying confederate flags on their pickup trucks got into an argument with others who disapproved. Shortly after the district said it was developing a year-long campaign for this school year focusing on the diversity of its schools.  Leon County is one of two dozen districts in the state where minority students make up the majority of enrollment. 

*Editor's Note: This story has been updated with statements from the Leon school district superintendent and Chiles High School principal.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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