FLEMING ISLAND, Fla. – A Fleming Island High School student has been suspended for 10 days after the Clay County school district learned he made a racist post on Craigslist advertising two of his fellow students for sale as slaves.
The ad, which showed two black students, offered “Two Slaves for Sale-$470” and was geographically tagged to Fleming Island Plantation.
The ad, which was taken off the website, showed the students sitting at school desks with the caption "Two healthy negro slavegals for sale. Good condition and hard work ethic! If you need another pair of hands around the farm/house, you're in luck!"
The school district is not naming the student who made the post, but said he’s a senior and he will be punished.
Thousands of viewers reacted to the story about the ad on the News4Jax Facebook page, and most were outraged.
Carolyn Thornton wrote: “This is sad, some kid undoubtedly thought it was cute or funny. There are people of all colors in slavery today. I hope that the parents of this kid teach him about the real world.”
Sabrina Bowman wrote: “There's nothing funny about this. These kids are in school trying to learn, and he's taking stupid pictures of them saying stupid stuff. Expel him or her and see how they feel.”
Along with a 10-day suspension, the student has been referred to an alternative school in a recommendation by the principal. The school board will ultimately make the decision whether to remove the student, send him to the alternative school permanently or expel him.
People News4Jax spoke to about the post said parents need to be more aware of their children’s social media activity and that they hope the boy who posted the ad faces consequences.
“Parents definitely need to take a much more proactive role in understanding what's going on in terms of the many different types of apps that are out there,” Kendra Saunders said. “It seems like it was something that happened while they were at school, a picture they took at school, so that needs to be taken into account.”
Superintendent Addison Davis issued the following statement:
“We do not tolerate this type of behavior and we are disheartened that any of our students would be subject to discrimination. Fleming Island High School administration and district leadership are working together to create a schoolwide plan of action to strengthen the climate and culture while celebrating the school’s diversity. We encourage parents and guardians to take the time to talk to their child about this important matter."
The district also contacted the Sheriff’s Office about the incident. Deputies looked into it but said no crime was committed. They had no further comment.
An incident report was filed and we are waiting to get that to see if it provides additional information.