Rosepine High Principal responds to video of student saying ‘I can’t breathe’
VERNON PARISH, La. (KALB) - News Channel 5 has been made aware of a video circulating on social media that shows a student lying on the ground saying, “I can’t breathe,” at Rosepine High School.
The students appear to be re-enacting the 2020 fatal arrest of George Floyd during their homecoming assembly Wednesday afternoon on campus. The video seems to have originated on Snapchat, which shows multiple students. In the video, two students, with one dressed as a police officer, are seen holding another student down, while one of the students is pinning the other down to the gymnasium floor with his hands behind his back. One student imitates kneeling down on the student’s neck. You can hear, “I can’t breathe,” being said multiple times in the video.
We reached out to Rosepine High School principal, Joey Bartz, who said he was shocked and heartbroken to see this from his students. Bartz said the main lesson to take from this incident is “change.”
“How do we get better moving forward without forgetting what we did in the past and the wrongs we did?” Bartz said. “I think that, it’s one of those things where, we’ve got to do a better job with making our kids socially and culturally aware of what’s going on in the world. Words can’t fix this and we know that. The vow I have made to the students, since the event, is that we need to become better human beings moving forward. On that road, we need to be on the correct path through our actions.”
On Thursday, Bartz posted the following message on Facebook about the video:
The students involved in the video were reportedly suspended from Rosepine High School, following violation of district policy and protocol.
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