School deals with backlash of racist Obama tweet

University Christian student's tweet one of many gone viral

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - When the website posted an article titled "Racist Teens Forced to Answer for Tweets About the 'N-word' President," University Christian School had no idea one of its students would be on the list.

Among the articles' collection of racist tweets from teens across the country lay a snapshot of a tweet Zack Miller sent after President Barack Obama won re-election.

"First thing my mom says this morning: did you hear the bad news? The monkey is staying for another 4 years...," the tweet reads.

Miller, a baseball player at University Christian, then followed with this: "All you people who voted for Obama most likely have no clue why you voted for him. Besides that he is black."

Miller has since taken his Twitter profile down. But the consequences of those tweets may not be so easy to get rid of.

University Christian School said in a statement that "students using social media websites and other blogs that post material contrary to University Christian School's philosophy will be subject to disciplinary action."

According to the statement, the school's parent-student handbook says "students will be disciplined for inappropriate posts made on or off campus, during or after school and with any electronic device (personal or school owned). Students found in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including immediate ineligibility to attend University Christian School."

Pastor and social media expert Dwann H. Rollinson counsels teens on social media. She stresses to teens how permanent online posts are and the impact they could have on everything from college to jobs.

Rollinson said it's often hard for them to grasp the full scope of what they post online.

"If it's hard sometimes for we as adults to understand how public social media is, I think that it's very difficult sometimes for our teens to understand as well," Rollinson said.

She said schools bear some responsibility to get the message across to teens, but she believes the real lessons start at home.

"I think we as parents have to educate our children, educate our teens and let them know that there are ramifications and there are consequences for their actions," Rollinson said. "And many times the consequences can be more severe than they can ever imagine."

It's not clear what the consequences will be for Miller. The school says so far it has had at least one student come to them and express concern about the posting.

School officials said they are working with that student and with everyone at the school who feels uncomfortable.

The school said it has had issues like this before involving students posting on social media, not specifically race-related, but just in general. It's something the school said it saw coming with more students using social media, which is why it has the rules on using social media in its handbook.

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