Miami girl says she was target of racism in Zoom high school class

A freshman at Miami Senior High says one of her classmates suddenly starting using the n-word repeatedly during an online learning Zoom call. She was the only Black student in the class.

MIAMI – A 14-year-old girl was attending a high school class on Zoom when she says another student suddenly started using the n-word repeatedly.

The girl named Jasmine, a freshman at Miami Senior High, was the only Black student in that online class and was the target of the racial bullying incident, an attorney representing her says.

“All I wanted was to be able to go to school and have a regular high school experience,” Jasmine said. “I shouldn’t have to deal with getting harassed by my classmates.”

It happened Sept. 24, a day after the class had just finished learning about the first amendment.

Jasmine’s attorney said another girl in the class used the slur 28 times, showing a screenshot of the word typed in all caps.

They say it took the teacher nearly seven minutes to mute the student’s mic, before eventually ending the class without addressing the incident at all.

“The use of this word in and of itself is hurtful, but what’s also hurtful is when the adults in charge do nothing about it,” said attorney Ariel Lett.

They also say the school’s principal failed to take immediate action.

“It was horrible. It made me feel terrible, and I was very angry,” Jasmine said.

While Jasmine has since transferred out of the school, her family wants Miami-Dade County Public Schools to address the matter and to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again.

“Enough is enough,” her mother Nicole Crooks said. “To be told by the principal that he would need to find out the context in which the n-word was used in order to start looking into it signifies an even bigger and more widespread issue.”

Crooks said the principal later reached out to apologize. The family is not aware of any disciplinary action that has been taken.

Daisy Gonzalez-Diego, chief communications officer for the school district, sent Local 10 News the following statement:

“Miami-Dade County Public Schools is obviously disheartened to learn about this incident as we strongly believe that every child should feel a sense of belonging and acceptance. As such, the District continues to foster teaching and learning environments that embrace and celebrate the diversity of our students, workforce, and community. Although we cannot provide further comment due to potential litigation, our commitment to promoting racial equality and social justice has not wavered.”

About the Author:

Trent Kelly is an award-winning multimedia journalist who joined the Local 10 News team in June 2018. Trent is no stranger to Florida. Born in Tampa, he attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he graduated with honors from the UF College of Journalism and Communications.