A 15-year-old Black transfer student was the target of racist bullying by students at a charter school in California.
Aina Adewunmi enrolled in classes at Palisades Charter High in January. Although most of the students welcomed her with open arms, she was disturbed to find a picture of her with a noose posted to a group chat room.
“Oh, my god, it’s me being lynched,” Aina told CBS LA. “Looking at an image of yourself like that hurts.”
After Aina transferred to the school, she was added to a chemistry group chat room by several boys. She said she got along with the boys at first. However, soon they started using racial slurs in the chat room.
“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.”
However, on May 23, one of the boys who she told she no longer wanted to be associated with him posted the image.
“I got up and told the principal immediately and nipped it in the bud,” she told CBS LA.
When Aina’s mother became aware of the photo, she was devastated.
“When I saw my child depicted like that, it was hurtful,” her mother, Tracy Adewunmi, told CBS LA.
The boys subsequently apologized and were suspended for the last few days of the school year, yet Aina’s mother wants expulsion.
“The first step is remove the boys from the school. They can not be allowed to come back,” Aina’s mother said. “The second step is to educate the population to let the people know that this behavior is not acceptable,” Aina’s mother said.
She says the police are investigating the case and the family has hired an attorney.
(Photo: KCAL/CBS 2 LA)