RE: Apology for “Racist Rant Video” of GHS Girls
To the residents of Gainesville community, and the teachers, students and their parents at Gainesville High School:
This letter is from both my daughter, myself (as her parent), and my entire family. I am not including my name or the name of my child because we continue to fear for our safety and that of others in my family.
My daughter was the second child (the one in the background) in the “video” that has gone viral since February 14, 2012. First, let me say, as I mentioned to the principal and officers I spoke with on Wednesday, Feb. 15th, that I raised my child to be a compassionate, loving, accepting, and giving young lady. And she has always been this type of child for a parent to be extremely proud of having. However, what she did was wrong, very wrong, and she has been severely punished, not just by me, but by the community, and most importantly by the media. My daughter has gone into a severe depression from what has happened and her remorse and sorrow is beyond description. I have heard multiple comments in different social media, about ‘it is the parents’ fault, it is how she was raised and what she hears’ and this is 100% completely FALSE.
I am not or have ever been this way or taught any of my children to be this way. My family and circle of close friends include individuals of all ages, races, creeds, social economic backgrounds, religions, and genders. I am a single mother, struggling like many others in our community and our country today.
While we can never take back the words and actions that these 2 children have said, we have to start to heal and forgive IMMEDIATELY. Stop the violent threats to our homes and our children, stop the anger, because this will solve absolutely nothing, and most importantly, look at yourself for change and love. Everyone, including all parents and teenagers, must put in their part to STOP racism, no matter what color your skin may be. We have to practice forgiveness. As the Bible says, ‘whoever among you is without sin, throw the first stone’.
As a community of parents and especially those who are dealing with teenagers and young adults, we have to watch how we speak to each OTHER, including what words we use, regardless of our color, ethnicity, religion or social status; how we speak in the home, when we are with friends and especially, these children need to watch how they talk in the schools. This means controlling what children watch and what they listen to, because I know I have put severe restriction on what my child watches and listens to from now on.
I also challenge this community, including the media, to focus on the wonderful and successful children of all races and ethnicities we have at Gainesville High School and in the rest of the community. Focus on the GOOD of students.
I close again with our sincerest apologies to the teachers, faculty, children and parents of Gainesville High School for any harm, stress and anxiety my daughter’s actions may have caused. We are asking for your forgiveness, pray and love one another, and move forward.
[The girl's family name, omitted because she's a minor]