PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Pinellas County Schools has launched an investigation into a racially insensitive incident that took place at St. Pete High School on Wednesday.

  • Pinellas Schools launched investigation into racially insensitive incident 
  • Video on Twitter showed a student dressed as a slave owner 
  • The students in the video are being disciplined accordingly

“The student’s actions are disappointing and not reflective of our schools,” said spokesperson Lisa Wolf in a released statement. “This type of behavior is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.”

The incident came to light after a student from another school posted a 16-second video on Twitter that shows a St. Pete High student dressed as a slave owner whipping the back of another student “as if it was a big joke in history.”

School Board Chairperson Rene Flowers saw that video and re-posted it on her Facebook page, stating that she shared it with the superintendent and will keep the community informed.

“Nothing funny, cute, entertaining or pretty about this,” Flowers said. “Slavery is not funny.”

Wolf said students wore costumes to school as part of homecoming spirit week but a whip is never allowed on campus. Wolf said the students in the video are being disciplined in accordance with school board policies.

“Pinellas County Schools wants all of our schools to be inclusive places of learning,” she said. “Where students and staff feel safe and respected, every day.”

Wolf said the student who was seen being whipped in the video twice was not injured. Spectrum Bay News 9 is not identifying the students involved in the incident.