Mead schools investigate ‘How to Redneck’ student video espousing racial violence
Aug. 24, 2020 Updated Mon., Aug. 24, 2020 at 9:18 p.m.
The Mead School District and the Spokane County Sheriff’s office are investigating a video posted by a high school student that espouses racial violence.
In a 41-second video, the Mead High School student introduces viewers to a lesson he calls “How to Redneck.”
He then picks up an AR-15 rifle from a bed and describes firing on hypothetical Black trespassers.
“Today, we’re going to learn how to kill (n-word)s,” the student said. It was originally posted on Snapchat but later reposted on Twitter and other social media .
By Monday night, the video had drawn about 5,000 views on Twitter.
According to school and law enforcement officials, it appears the video was intended as satire.
“We are still investigating, but the initial information is that wasn’t intended to be a threat,” said Cpl. Mark Gregory, public information officer for the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.
“It was intended to be humor, which we can all agree was very poor,” Gregory said.
However, some saw the video as something much darker.
“Coming from a former Black student at Mead, I hope something is done about this,” posted @micaiah_hayes. “This is horrible and disgusting and I wouldn’t be surprised if other kids from that school accepting this behavior.”
It’s unclear when the video was shot. However, Gregory said it was produced outside of the state. A search of the student’s room produced no weapons.
The student also has no criminal history and his family is cooperating with investigators, according to Gregory.
Mead Superintendent Shawn Woodward said that students and parents alerted the district during the weekend.
“It’s just awful, and obviously we are all extremely disturbed by this,” Woodward said. “Clearly it’s a safety issue, and as with any safety issue we are taking it really seriously.”
Woodward said he was grateful that students reacted quickly.
“We are always harping that if you see something, say something,” Woodward said.
Gregory said he hopes more parents counsel their children about the dangers of social media.
“We need to have these conversations,” Gregory said. “We need to talk to our kids about what they’re doing.”
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox
Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.