A group of Texas A&M students are accused of taunting a group of black high schoolers, using racial slurs and other hateful language, KBTX reports.
The slurs were directed at about 60 juniors from Dallas’ Uplift Hampton Preparatory, who were visiting the campus. According to CBS DFW, the confrontation began over a sports rivalry after several of the A&M students spotted one of the high schoolers carrying a University of Texas bag.
“They didn’t like his bag, so they screamed, ‘Go back to where you came from!’ ” one Uplift student, Terquarie Wilson, told CBS DFW.
The situation escalated when a white female university student asked two black girls from Uplift if they liked her Confederate-flag earrings, according to KBTX. The A&M students reportedly also used the n-word and made additional references to the Confederate flag.
Texas state Sen. Royce West of Dallas released a statement addressing the accusations, KBTX notes.
“Although progress has been slow, particularly when it comes to African-American students, Texas A&M has made the effort to recruit minority students from urban schools,” West said in his statement. “It has established outreach centers in Dallas and other cities and made scholarship monies available. But actions such as what took place Tuesday can undo whatever good has been done. When those students’ stories are told to parents and friends, they could undoubtedly further the belief that the home of the Aggies has a campus environment that has been hostile to black students—that is, those who are not athletes.”
The university’s Department of Residence Life also released a memo condemning the alleged actions, according to KBTX.
“The actions of a few do NOT reflect the beliefs of many,” the memo reads. “Such incidents show a blatant lack of respect for others and are offensive to Aggies who value diversity and inclusion, respect and integrity, excellence and character.”
According to CBS DFW, cellphone video from the incident may be the key to identifying the A&M students who verbally abused the high schoolers. That footage, which was captured by faculty, is currently in the university’s hand.
“If indeed these students engaged in this behavior, they should be expelled,” West said, according to CBS DFW.
Read more at KBTX and CBS DFW.