Micah Speed, 15, was suspended after pulling a fellow student at Wake Forest High School to the ground in the hallway. Part of the incident was captured on video and posted to Instagram with details that add some very important perspective to the story.

According to a friend and classmate of Micah’s, he was only reacting after being pushed to his breaking point following months of being targeted with racial taunts from the white student. 

“He said things like … I need to name my son ‘Convict’ and ‘Crackhead’ … because that’s what they’ll grow up to be,” Micah told ABC11. “He threw the N-word around very loosely, said things that I looked like I bathed in coffee beans and dirt.”

Micah’s friend, Tyler Goodell, posted his account of what happened on Instagram, sparking a debate on how someone should respond to racism.

As a result of his actions, Micah was suspended for 10 days, although it was later reduced to only five. However, many students felt this was the wrong decision on the part of school officials and let their frustrations be known by protesting.

“People are under the assumption that it was ok for him to put his hands on that young man. It was never ok,” Yolanda Speed, Micah’s mother, said to WRAL. “But you have to understand that there is always going to be a reaction to an action.”

Micah, who has been forced to defend his character, spoke to local reporters about how his actions that day were actually out of the ordinary for him.

“I want to say I’m not a violent person. That’s not who I am … Everybody who’s known me and that knows me currently knows that I try to avoid confrontation and I usually laugh things off, but I was just pushed over the breaking point,” he said.

If the faculty and staff at Wake Forest High School was truly aware of the white student’s racist verbal assaults against Micah and chose to do nothing, there will hopefully consequences to their implicit support of racism.