Texas A&M investigating racist social media posts by current, incoming students

Published: Jun. 4, 2020 at 5:38 PM CDT
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As the nation takes a closer look at racism after the death of George Floyd, the Texas A&M University System is investigating racist and offensive social media posts made by current and incoming students.

​Texas A&M announced over Twitter they are investigating each one of social media posts in question and considering next steps.

On Thursday, university officials said they could elaborate on what action might be taken against students because of federal student privacy laws from FERPA.

The A&M Faculty Senate also approved a resolution this week supporting A&M President Michael Young's efforts to confront racism.

The few people on campus Thursday told KBTX that this situation is a perfect reminder to be careful what you post.

"Social media can be such a place for life-giving information and a place for community," said Bailee Bruce, who graduated last year. "That’s where it originally started, and it’s really sad that it has turned into a place where so much hate, and people hide behind a keyboard and hide behind a screen."

Bruce said she is glad to hear the university is investigating what people have posted online.

"It totally reflects on you, it reflects on everything else you're associated with and, not that it’s a reputation thing, it's being a kind human being thing, but I think A&M is rightfully so investigating," she added.

“I think it’s a good idea to always be really careful about what you post on social media. Just as a blanket rule," said Laura Huning, a Texas A&M graduate student.

Huning added the impact can last a long time.

"There are always consequences of what you post online," said Huning.

"I have three younger sisters and I have seen from multiple people how you know what you post online doesn’t just affect your here-and-now, but it can affect you down the road," said Bruce. "And even I think you know I’m like feeling the weight of everything... I think all of us are feeling very burdened by the current state of our nation."

KBTX reached out to university officials for an interview for this story but was told that none were available to meet in person Thursday.

The Texas A&M System released this statement regarding racism Wednesday: The Texas A&M System condemns all racist behaviors, actions, and comments that tear at the moral fabric of our nation. The System is appalled at the deplorable and egregious acts of brutality by some police officers against African Americans. As the nation grieves, the A&M System is also experiencing sorrow and has devoted its platform to stand up against unjust racial disparities. Based on diversity as a core value of our system, we denounce all forms of violence perpetrated against African Americans. The death of George Floyd, and many others, at the hand of police officers is a despicable and unacceptable outcome. Suffice it to say: IT MUST STOP. All forms of racism, from bias and micro-aggressions to racialized violence, create an undue weight on our faculty, staff, students of color, and administration. As such, there is a direct need to continue to educate and act on our values of inclusion and equity. The Texas A&M System shall take all necessary steps to ensure that its employees and students are committed to the tenets of human respect and decency. To make a positive impact, we will make a unified commitment to translate our ideals into action for sustainable and proactive change. Equally as important, The Texas A&M System shall remain committed to providing an inclusive environment where all its members can thrive safely. The A&M System believes all universities under the auspices of the Texas A&M Banner shall speak out against systemic and institutional racism at all levels. Likewise, we urgently call on all Texans and the nation to resist hateful and racist actions and refuse to drink from the bitter cup of divisiveness. Dr. LaVelle Hendricks, Chair, Texas A&M University-Commerce Angela Allen, West Texas A&M University Dr. Carol Bunch Davis, Texas A&M University-Galveston Larry Davis, Texas A&M University-Central Texas Dr. Toney Favors, Texas A&M University-Texarkana Dr. Manuel Flores, Texas A&M University-Kingsville Elma De Luna-Gonzalez, Prairie View A&M University Tim Gritten, Texas A&M University-San Antonio Dr. Peter Haruna, Texas A&M International University Dr. Lince Tiburcio, Tarleton University Dr. Sherdeana Owens, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Dr. Christine Stanley, Texas A&M University Dr. Julia Ballenger, Texas A&M University-Commerce Dr. Joyce Miller, Texas A&M University-Commerce Dr. Minita Ramirez, Texas A&M International University Carl Greig, Texas A&M University-Texarkana Dr. Corinne Valadez, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Dr. Jennifer Schroeder, Texas A&M University-Commerce Dr. Brenda Moore, Texas A&M University-Commerce