Racially charged conversation involving Texas Tech students sparks outrage
A group of Texas Tech students could be in trouble, after their private messages became public.
It’s believed the students were using a cellphone app called GroupMe, to discuss Immigration. Somehow someone took screenshots, and made the conversation public on social media.
University officials responded to the issue on Friday.
"We are taking action now,” said Texas Tech Vice President Carol Sumner. “Which is why less than 12 hours after we found out, you are gathered in this room.”
The group’s chat on the app was called “Frat Chat”.
Throughout the discussion, one person wrote, “We should deport only the un-athletic illegals. Our soccer team needs help. We need some cooks too.”
Another student responded to the comment saying, “slaves.” Someone else commented, “wrong race.”
"A lot of our students are hurt,” said Texas Tech University Dean of Student Matthew Gregory. “[They’re] harmed as a result of these comments."
Continuing the conversion, one student wrote, “We’re going to partner with ICE for a philanthropy event.” Another person responded saying, “I’ve met ranchers that kill illegals and burry them under cattle graves.” Someone wrote back with, “As they should.”
“I've seen them, they were deplorable,” said Trinidad Valdez a Texas Tech graduate. "To me they were disgusting, and have no place to be. Especially if they came from the President of one of the fraternities."
In a statement, a member of the school's Interfraternity Council wrote, "A new president of the IFC has been appointed. We are continuing to look into the situation so that those responsible are held accountable."
"You are a student all of the time,” said Sumner. “The code of conduct and policies apply all of the time."
We met with local attorney Jason Jakob to discuss the legalities of online conversations.
"You do have to be very careful,” said Jakob.
Jakob acknowledges freedom of speech.
"You have the right to sit there, and actually give your viewpoints. That's what changes our history."
However, the attorney adds that things become complicated when contracts, or conduct codes, are involved.
"Think about what you say,” said Jakob. “If it's on something that can be recorded for all time, that's what you need to be careful of.”
It remains unclear if, and how the students involved could be punished.