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The Anne Arundel County NAACP chapter is calling for an apology from Northeast High School students who were involved in a racist video.

Students in the county are responding to a social media video of three teenage girls smiling at the camera with a caption that said “we hate” and a racial slur. A letter from Principal Jason Williams was sent home on Nov. 12 to address the video and also state an investigation had identified the three students in the video and the creator.

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“It is with incredible frustration and, quite honestly, anger that I write to you today to inform you about two repulsive social media posts created by some of our students and posted online,” Williams said in the letter.

Williams also indicated the issue was handled quickly due to two other students who alerted school officials about the video and a still photo of the video.

“I assure you that we are treating this incident as one of bias-motivated behavior and will administer appropriate consequences in accordance with the Code of Conduct to anyone we have identified as being involved in this hateful incident,” Williams said.

Other students are asking for additional action. The president of the Anne Arundel County NAACP Youth & College Division Unit, 17-year-old Drake Smith, asked members of the organization to reach out to Superintendent George Arlotto and Williams to say the students involved should be required to write an apology letter and create video on behalf of their actions.

Smith, a student at Meade High School, said this incident could be used as an example and to show students that behavior like that could have consequences.

“There have been a string of racial incidents at schools, some have been handled well and some — in my opinion — have not been handled so well but the perpetrators had not been on camera,” Smith said. “We need to make an example of these girls that Anne Arundel County will not tolerate this kind of behavior from anyone, staff or students.”

In addition, the chapter plans to address the school board.

President Jackie Allsup said this incident has added on to others that have happened this school year, causing harm to students. Since the start of the school year, the school system has heard allegations about racial epithets and a drawing of a swastika.

“It seems like it is happening more and more frequently and the impact it has on black and brown children is disturbing to our community,” she said.

“We feel the stress of everyday life and then have to deal with additional stress as a result of biased behavior and racial epithets that we find in our community has a great impact on people,” she said referencing health problems such as high blood pressure or other cardiac problems due to increased stress.

The call for an apology also comes a couple weeks after County Executive Steuart Pittman said he will treat racism as a public health issue and plans to include police body cameras in his upcoming budget, which is one method identified in a draft plan to address hate crimes and hate bias incidents in the county.

Recently, Maryland released its annual report on hate crimes and hate bias incidents, which showed reports of incidents are on the rise in Anne Arundel County.

Allsup said she appreciates Pittman’s position on hate crimes and other biased behavior.

“We really need to get a handle on these racial incidents that are happening in our county," she said.

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When asked about a possible solution for schools, she indicated the need for “zero tolerance of that behavior,” Allsup said.

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