Finding new friends after joining a new school isn’t easy. It’s even harder to make sure the ones you find are the right ones. But no one should ever have to deal with rejecting friendships with people who want to see them lynched. Aina Adewunmi, 15, transferred to Palisades Charter High School in Southern California in January and became friends with a group of students before things took a turn.
After being invited to a groupchat, Adewunmi saw some of the members casually using the n-word. She confronted them and thought that would be the end of it, according to the New York Daily News. However, one boy in particular continued his racist antics and Adewunmi had to end their friendship.
“I told him I didn’t want to be in his presence anymore and I said, ‘I don’t want to be associated with you,’” she said.
That’s when she came across a photo that was taken of her – without her knowledge – and edited to depict a noose around her neck.
“I was like, ‘Oh my god, it’s me being lynched,’” she said.
Adewunmi immediately went to the principal and school officials suspended the boys involved for the remainder of the semester. But Aina and her mother both agree that the punishment wasn’t severe enough for the crime.
“The kids at Pali need to know there zero tolerance for this. It shouldn’t even be a question whether they should be expelled,” Aina said.
Her mother, Tracy Adweunmi, called for the boys’ expulsion and was disappointed when they only got a slap on the wrist.
“We asked the students to be expelled and the school is not going to expel them — which is saddening because it means they tolerate this behavior,” she said.
On the bright side, at least school officials didn’t try and deny that this counted as a form of bullying.