by Miah Hardy
June 13, 2017
Photos by Breanna Edwards/The Root and CBS Los Angeles
In Los Angeles, California, a black 15-year-old Palisades Charter High School student, Aina Adewunmi, was shocked to find a picture of herself with a noose drawn around her neck posted in a chemistry class group chat.
When Aina Adewunmi first saw the photo of herself, she shared with CBS LA that her initial reaction was, “Oh, my God, it’s me being lynched”.
Aina transferred to Palisades in January and although she was immediately accepted by a majority of the students, three boys, who according to the New York Daily News were originally friends of Aina, began to exhibit racist behavior toward her and refused to stop. The same group of boys created and posted the photo, which was taken without Aina’s consent, in the group chat on May 23. “I got up and told the principal and nipped it in the bud,” she said.
“When I saw my child depicted like that it was hurtful,” her mother, Tracy Adewunmi commented.
The boys involved have apologized and were suspended for the last few weeks of school, but Tracy Adewunmi is not satisfied with the punishment.
“The first step is remove the boys from the school, they cannot be allowed to come back,” asserts Aina’s mother. “The second step is to educate the population to let the people know that this behavior is not acceptable”.
The family has hired an attorney and the police are now investigating.
Being resilient and brave, Aina has not allowed this incident to dictate her willingness to continue her education at Palisades Charter High School.
“I think Pali is a good school,” she told CBS LA. “I’m happy I moved and I won’t be leaving, but this is something that needs to be stopped because it has happened in the past. I knew if I didn’t come out with this story, it would happen over and over again.”
TELL US: The students involved have been suspended and have apologized, but does the punishment fit the crime?