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Video circulating internet of Highland high schoolers reenacting George Floyd murder, many students outraged

HIghland High School
Posted at 9:53 PM, Apr 29, 2021

GILBERT, AZ — "They're reenacting the murder of George Floyd. An apology won't cut it Highland Hawks," says Kylonna Leevy, while reading a viral Twitter post.

A video circulating on the internet is outraging many students who attend Highland High School in Gilbert.

Senior Kylonna Leevy says behavior like this happens all too often.

"Just disheartening, disappointed really. Honestly, I wasn't initially surprised," says Leevy.

Leevy points out that this is a community-wide problem, and one that needs to be addressed.

"Definitely a lot of usage of the n-word around me," she says.

As an officer of the Black Student Union, Leevy has worked hard to change that but says several of her friends have experienced racism first-hand.

"There's a very small black student population, so the black student population does feel sometimes targeted by these certain situations and singled out," says Leevy.

Although you can't exactly tell what's being discussed in the video itself, it's enough for many to make a conclusion.

"Even if it was for a good purpose, it was still not good to reenact a murder... nonetheless it's George Floyd's, which became a big thing this last summer. Those students know that, and I think they were mockingly reenacting it and joking about it," says Milana Withee, another senior at Highland.

Some students say they were scared to go to school Friday, while others don't want to be associated with that type of behavior.

"I am ashamed. You know, when people ask me what school I go to, I grimace and say 'Highland...' because everyone knows the reputation, and everyone knows what happens there," says Withee.

As the school year comes to an end, Leevy is set to graduate next month. This wasn't how she imagined being sent off.

"I just really hope that Highland's legacy ends better than this," says Leevy.

Gilbert Public Schools sent a statement to ABC15 about the incident, stating:

"Highland High Administration received a report of an incident at the end of the school day yesterday. A thorough investigation is now underway. All breaches of Gilbert Public Schools student code of conduct are investigated to their full extent and district policies and procedures are followed to deliver consequences. Gilbert Public Schools strives to create communities of inclusion and any act of racism is in direct opposition to the values that we hold as a school district."
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*Since our original reporting, ABC15 has decided to blur the images of the teens involved in this incident.