It was in January that 15-year old Aina Adewunmi transferred to Palisades Charter High School in Southern California.
She found herself befriending a group of guys, but was quickly turned off by the frequent use of racial slurs.
“They added me to their group chat and then started using the N-word,” she tells The New York Daily News. “I said they can’t use the word, and that’s when I thought I set the boundary.”
After one “friend” continued his use of the word, she made the decision to cut off all ties with the group.
“I told him I didn’t want to be in his presence anymore and I said, ‘I don’t want to be associated with you,’ ” she continued.
Following the confrontation, it didn’t take long for Aina to discover a photo of herself being circulated through the group chat. The photo was a shot of Aina with a noose drawn around her neck.
“I was like, ‘Oh my god, it’s me being lynched,’” she recalls.
Alerting her mother and school officials, the boys were suspended for the duration of the term, a punishment that is sufficient enough says Aina.
“We asked the students to be expelled and the school is not going to expel them — which is saddening because it means they tolerate this behavior,” Aina’s mother Tina explains.
Aina notes that the her request to never be in the same class as the boys has been fulfilled, however.