15-year-old Aina Adewunmi, a Black high school student, discovered a picture of herself under a noose being shared among fellow classmates in her chemistry class.
The students were suspended for the remainder of the term, but her mother (rightfully) feels like the punishment is too light.
“I was like, ‘Oh my god, it’s me being lynched,’” 15-year-old Aina Adewunmi told the Daily News.
A male classmate at Palisades Charter High School shared the disturbing image in a group chat that included friends — and Aina.
Aina explained that she’d become friendly with a group of boys when she transferred to the school in January.
But that friendship ended when the dynamic became racist.
“They added me to their group chat and then started using the N-word,” Aina said.
“I said they can’t use the word, and that’s when I thought I set the boundary.”
Repeated racist interactions with one boy in particular caused Aina to sever ties with him.
“I told him I didn’t want to be in his presence anymore and I said, ‘I don’t want to be associated with you,’” she said.
Then the lynching photograph surfaced.
“I immediately went to the principal,” Aina said.
School administrators suspended the boys for the remainder of the term, but Aina and her mother think their punishment is far too light, and sends the wrong message to other students.
“The kids at Pali need to know there zero tolerance for this. It shouldn’t even be a question whether they should be expelled,” Aina said.
Aina said her request to not be in class with the boys again was at least granted.
“We need to feel empowered in our sanctuary, which is our school.”
Aina’s mother, Tracy Adewunmi, has also called for the boys’ expulsion. “We asked the students to be expelled and the school is not going to expel them — which is saddening because it means they tolerate this behavior.”
Those students need to be expelled. This is both racist AND violent.
If you would like to let this school know exactly how wrong this is, the number to Palisades Charter High School is (310) 230-6623. The principal’s name is Dr. Pamela Magee.