Hey Twitter, we need to have a talk.
Last night I learned & confirmed the name of the "main student" from the #CovingtonCatholic incident. The kid grinning in front of the Native elder.
Hop in this thread because I'm going to walk you through some deep but important stuff. 1/? pic.twitter.com/5NyXFCwJR9
Finding the #CovingtonCatholic student's identity was not easy.
He is not pictured in any of the school's many (many!) pics of student athletes on their website, apparently because he doesn't play sports.
But I sifted through a lot. Because I was so upset at that video. pic.twitter.com/TRJmmuirQ7
I have reviewed the student's Facebook account, seen family photos, and even talked with another student who knows him.
The ID is 100% iron-clad. pic.twitter.com/1TGmBuyYmY
Here are 2 fun facts about the #CovingtonCatholic "main student" whose ID I have learned:
1: When he was a freshman, he tried to hire an "essay writing service" to do his homework.
2: His mother is a vice president at a major American financial company that you've heard of. pic.twitter.com/HTlTQtaE1f
Now here comes the hard part, Twitter.
The part where you're all going to hate me.
At this point in the thread, I need to tell you that all I am not going to share the #CovingtonCatholic student's identity.
Here's why. (see next tweet) pic.twitter.com/uCm14m3Zzh
Why have I decided not to share the #CovingtonCatholic kid's name? Because he's a kid.
A dumb kid. Maybe a racist kid. (more on this in a second)
But he's still a kid. Yes, I have confirmed he is under 18. pic.twitter.com/u75cqlRINK
We need to zoom out here and look at the bigger picture.
I have talked with students at Covington Catholic High School & those in the community.
Multiple people close to the school have confirmed it has a very serious culture problem. Some racial, some homophobic, some sexist. pic.twitter.com/z6ESMFTKGW
The first thing you need to know about Covington Catholic High School is that it is an elite private boys school with an expensive tuition.
But the second thing you need to know is that it is as close to a "whites only" school as you can find in the 21st Century.
I talked to one former #CovingtonCatholic high school student who is of middle eastern descent.
He got bullied and called a "terrorist." It got so bad he had to transfer schools.
And he wasn't alone. Every year the school has only a minority students (in a school of 500). pic.twitter.com/vW7ze9PQ5u
#CovingtonCatholic's race problem is not limited to the almost all-white student body however.
Before the school hastily removed its teachers directory yesterday, I reviewed it.
Every. Single. Teacher. Is. White.
(at least of those 80 listed yesterday before they took it down) pic.twitter.com/HTVcK9xTBk
I censored all the individual teachers email addresses. But here's an email address I won't be censoring.
This is the principal of #CovingtonCatholic, who has hired a teaching staff that is as far as I can tell, whites only. His school culture seems to be deeply racially toxic. pic.twitter.com/kSG0se5zEQ
After video surfaced of #CovingtonCatholic kids apparently harassing a Native American elder, people were angry at the students (understandably).
The school was quick to issue a statement saying it might expel some students involved.
But that's not gonna fix their race problem. pic.twitter.com/OPE625z1O6
I am sure the teachers at #CovingtonCatholic are hard working people and they don't deserve anyone's scorn per-say.
But the school itself needs to reckon with how an a nearly all-white atmosphere can lead to, at the very least, "blind spots" in these kids' racial awareness.
While we're at it, we also need to talk about gender at #CovingtonCatholic.
I have heard from members of the community there is an ingrained sexism problem at the school (which refers to women as "females").
Cov students have also harassed gay students at other schools. pic.twitter.com/suRBZCgjSP
This is 73 year old Bishop Foys, in charge of the diocese that the school is a part of.
One former student told me he's uncomfortable with women and girls getting leadership positions at his schools. There was also a story about a rapist that was allowed to "walk" graduation. pic.twitter.com/XMM5JkgPwd
In the original video of the #CovingtonCatholic kids and the Native elder, there's a moment where this one woman points out that the kids are acting like a mob.
"You guys are acting like a mob, that's what's going on. Fucking mob mentality... you guys are what, like 16?" pic.twitter.com/mRUWOcSet7
As soon as the video surfaced, people started trying to ID the kids.
Hard to watch that video & not feel like they're acting like a mob.
Here's what I realized: if you try to ID kids to ruin their lives you're acting like a mob too. And there are more of us online than of them. pic.twitter.com/FfGRXbJDW5
I think #CovingtonCatholic as a school community needs to do some soul searching about gender, bullying, homophobia, and especially race.
They're going to need some space to do that. Let's not be a mob like they seemed to be in that video.
One former Covington student of color who got bullied told me:
"It is not the worst school on the planet and a lot of worse things could have happened. Many people do have a heart there" and added if the school had diverse teachers "Racism would most definitely not be condoned."
I talked with a person who knows the "main student" in the #CovingtonCatholic video.
Turns out, the #magateen's favorite musician was the biracial rapper Logic.
Here are some of his lyrics. I think this is a good way to end this thread and give this community space to reflect. pic.twitter.com/2LQztOq9g5
Thanks for following along this thread and this journey.
As you can probably tell, a lot of research and discussions with people in the community went into it.
I would appreciate a retweet or two if you found any of it meaningful to you.
One final thought: Every student in America (no matter the racial composition of their school) needs to see images like this from the Civil Rights Movement.
If we can spread this knowledge of our past as a country, kids today will be more aware of how their actions echo history. pic.twitter.com/W5dDkX78kb
I or anyone else who knows the ID of the #CovingtonCatholic #Magateen could ruin his life so easily. But that won't fix the root causes of this problem.
Instead, let's lift the heroes who fight for justice.
Nathan Phillips (the elder) is a badass. And so is this lady. pic.twitter.com/1nS7WkdRPO
p.s. - trump sucks, public schools rock, please follow me or whatever