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Poquoson forfeits game to York after students use 'N' word, curse in social media videos

The Snapchat videos featured several Poquoson High School students. Some were members of the football team. The "N" word and explicit language are in the recordings.

POQUOSON, Va. — NOTE: Because of the ages of the students, 13News Now has blurred the videos. In addition, all slurs and expletives have been bleeped.

The Poquoson High School football team is forfeiting its scheduled game against York High School this week after Poquoson students used the "N" word and foul language in Snapchat videos.

Superintendent of Poquoson City Public Schools Dr. Jennifer Parish told 13News Now that some of the students were members of the football team. Threats made against the team, including that there would be trouble at the game Friday night, factored into the decision to forfeit.

The videos were recorded at a party which did not take place on school property. The location appeared to be in a large room of a home or in a club room. In the background, you can see several students around a table filled with red Solo cups.

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Parish provided 13News Now with this statement:

The language and behavior in these videos have no place in our schools or in our community. We find it abhorrent, and, while these videos were created outside of school, we are taking action within the scope of our Code of Conduct and under division policy.

One action that we are taking is to forfeit Friday’s game against York High. While we know some will be disappointed, we have a responsibility to do everything we can to keep our students safe. We also have a responsibility to help our students understand that behavior has consequences.

As a school division, we will continue to take a strong and unified stance against racist behavior and language. Our schools welcome and serve all students, and we stand firm in our effort to maintain safe educational spaces for all students.

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The Virginia Department of Education records "Fall Membership" for school divisions across the state each year. It's a snapshot of the makeup of students on September 30.

For the 2018-2019 academic year, the Fall Membership for Poquoson High School when it came to full-time student enrollment looked like this:

  • Total Full-time Students                                    2,119
  • White                                                                  1,929
  • Black                                                                16
  • Asian                                                                33
  • Hispanic                                                           67
  • American Indian or Alaska Native                    8
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander                 10
  • Non-Hispanic, two or more races                    56

Given the circumstances depicted in the videos, including the possibility underage drinking was taking place when they were recorded, 13News Now reached out to the Poquoson Police Department.

Chief Cliff Bowen responded: "We are aware of the videos and have reviewed them. We will address any criminal or status offense supported by credible evidence."