A freshman at Metamora Township High School received a racist video from one of his teammates. All five boys involved play football for Metamora Township and have never had previous altercations with each other. On September 25, the Williams family were made aware of a racist video that had been circulating around the MTHS student population. Williams, an African-American student had already been sent a video of four of his Caucasian teammates throwing a monkey, using racial slurs, and stating his first name. One of the four boys in the video directly texted Williams the video. When asked about it, Williams began to cry saying, “I thought they were my friends.”
After seeing how upset his child was Willie Williams, the victim’s father, acted. The school initially punished the four boys with one-game suspension and a two-day school suspension, but Williams expressed how displeased he was with the lax punishment. The school then allowed Williams to meet with the four boys and their parents. During the meeting, Williams says one of the boys yelled at him for taking further action after they had received their initial punishment from the school. The parents of that child agreed and stormed out of the meeting without shaking Williams hand. The other three children and sets of parents were remorseful and expressed regret. Williams told reporters they stayed to hug him and shake his hand.
Since then, the school has dismissed the four boys from the football team, but others believe more should be done. The school’s handbook allows for harsher punishments. The section on assault says, “Any unprovoked attack or harassment against a student or staff member will be dealt with as an assault. This behavior may result in police involvement, immediate suspension, and a board meeting with the possibility of expulsion.” Williams has received supportive calls, texts, and emails from residents and MTHS alumni, but many people are encouraging Williams to push for national attention and protests. Williams has stated that he does not want national attention or to start protests because it is about coming together as one. Williams said his son has made peace with the four boys and told them “I forgive you guys. Let’s move on from here.”