South Jersey students protest suspensions given over controversial video
EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP -- A video set to a profanity-laden rap song that appears to have been filmed inside a high school has generated much controversy in a South Jersey community..
The black-and-white video titled "EHTHS The 609" shows students fighting, rolling dice in the bathroom and displaying gang signs inside Egg Harbor Township High School. The district on Monday posted on its Facebook page that it had notified police and the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office about the video, and the district is conducting its own investigation.
"The District is committed to continuing to work in the best interest of our children and to provide an excellent education in a healthy and safe environment," the post said.
Shore News Today reported that 100 to 200 students on Tuesday walked out of class in protest of the disciplinary action taken against students involved in the making of the video, which was directed by "Tonybeatz." Interim Superintendent Donna Haye told the news site that contrary to rumors, students were not expelled nor were prom or graduation privileges taken away.
A Change.org petition said the students were suspended for 10 days for posting a "creative rap video on social media" and believes the students were treated "harshly." According to the petition, the students are honor students and "Tonybeatz" is in the National Honor Society.
A meeting between students and the administration is scheduled for Thursday to discuss the video.
The video also generated comments on Twitter that were critical of the school, along with the rallying hashtag #freetonybeatz.
The Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office in an email said they have "no comment on the incident." High school principal Dr. Terry Charlton referred a message to interim superintendent Frederick Nickles who has not yet returned a message.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.
WARNING: Strong language. Not suitable for work.