The racially tinged incident — and the reaction from officials at the school in Wake Forest, N.C. — incensed students and others who have seen the slur- and profanity-filled video. Students launched a protest and a walkout after word spread that Micah — a 6-foot-2, 250-pound starter on the football team — had been suspended for 10 days.
Micah’s mother said that after the school heard racist statements were hurled at her son, his suspension was reduced from 10 days to five.
It remains unclear if the other student was punished, and if so, to what degree. A Wake County Public School System spokeswoman said she couldn’t discuss how officials are handling last week’s incident or others because of federal student privacy laws.
“This is a kid who has been picking on me for two months plus,” Micah told CBS affiliate WNCN, saying much of the antagonism happened in class in front of a teacher. “This is a kid that I have walked away from every single situation. And you’re going to say that I attacked him I got pushed over the edge when he said I’m going to kill you and your family?”
Yalonda Speed said the other student kept up a steady onslaught of racially tinged insults.
“He was telling him that it looks like he got dipped in coffee beans and took a shower in dirt,” Speed told The Post. “He told him you should name your kids ‘Crackhead’ and ‘Convict’ because that’s what they’re going to be.”
The other student involved in the incident could not be reached for comment.
Moments before the altercation, the other student had showed Micah a video of him firing a shotgun, Speed’s parents said. “Imagine that these are your mother and sister and you,” the teen said, according to Micah’s mother.
Micah has always been the biggest kid in class and has been teased since elementary school, his mom said. His parents said they taught him to turn the other cheek, especially as he grew big enough to be an offensive lineman on the school’s football team, with hopes of playing in college. He could hurt someone if he acted out in anger, they warned him, and his reaction would overshadow everything else.
“There was a girl that called him a monkey in class. They’ve joked about lynching,” his father, LeBrent Speed told The Post. “When you watch the video, you don’t see the kids reacting strongly. There’s a feeling that this is normal. This is a normal Thursday.
“They try to use the fact that Micah plays football. They know that’s something he’s aiming for, so he’ll hold his tongue.”
The Wake County Public School System didn’t make anyone available to discuss racial issues at the school, where 74 percent of students are white and 23 percent identify as black, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
The school is just northeast of Raleigh, North Carolina’s capital city.
On Monday, after a student walkout and days of news coverage, principal Patti Hamler sent a recorded phone message to parents saying administrators were “continuing to investigate the situation.”
Hamler encouraged anyone with information not to spread rumors, but to come forward to school officials.
“We strive each day to create a positive learning environment and take every measure to ensure the safety of our students,” her message said.
By Wednesday morning, it had been signed by nearly 30,000 people.
Yolanda Speed said she’s happy that so many have taken up for her 15-year-old, but she winces at some of the negative things people have said about her teenager.
She remember how distraught he was on Friday, when he learned that he was being suspended.
“He curled his 6-foot-2 frame up in the back seat of my car and he cried,” she said.
He was worried about his standing on the football team and whether his teachers would treat him differently. His lowest grade was a B, Speed said, and he feared his grades wouldn’t recover from missing so much school this late in the year.
And at home during the day, he was reading the stories about his altercation, and some of the vitriolic comments.
Micah posted images of some on Instagram.
“He’s a disgusting n——,” one read. “Deserves to be suspended. It’s not bullying if they are a nasty n—–.”
Another, which had apparently been liked by 22 people, said “N—— like that deserve to be lynched.”