COLLEGE STATION (CBSDFW.COM) – Cell phone video may help identify the Texas A&M University students accused of yelling racial slurs at students from Dallas’ Uplift Hampton Preparatory School.
The high school students were visiting the campus as part of the school’s “Road To College at Uplift Education Program.”
Texas Sen. Royce West (D-23rd District) said the video captured by school faculty is now in the university’s hands.
What started out as a friendly exchange between a group of white college students and 60 Hampton Prep juniors, of various ethnicities, turned ugly.
“The people there were really friendly. Got a bunch of howdy’s and everything,” said Terquarie Wilson. The 16-year-old said the confrontation began when several A&M students spotted his friend carrying a University of Texas bag.
“They didn’t like his bag, so they screamed, go back to where you came from! And one of my peers turned around and said, ‘you do realize we’re all black or African American, right?’”
Wilson and his classmates kept walking but faculty supervisors trailing behind allegedly heard the college students use a racial slur. Wilson said, “[It was] kind of like an eye opener for me.”
At another point in the tour an A&M student reportedly asked two Hampton Prep students what they thought of her confederate flag earrings, that according to an Uplift Education spokesperson.
“It was kind of like getting hit over the head with a hammer,” is how Senator West described the incident. Furthermore, West said a TAMU police officer initially told the group that the college students were expressing their first amendment rights. That officer did eventually take a police report.
West said he now wants to see the university send a strong message. “If indeed these students engaged in this behavior they should be expelled.”
Michael K. Young, president of Texas A&M University, said in a statement released Wednesday he was outraged and tremendously disappointed in the behavior of his students and that “I deeply regret the pain and hurt feelings the incident caused these young students.”
Following their tour, TAMU officials met with the Dallas high school students and listened to them to talk about what happened.
Uplift Education released a statement Thursday afternoon saying they were “proud of our scholars for the grace and composure with which they responded to the college students who chose to engage in a disrespectful and unacceptable manner.”
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