Police Investigating Video Of Wicomico Student Holding Gun, Making Racist Remarks

SALISBURY – Police say they are investigating a video in which the son of a Wicomico County school board member is shown holding a rifle while making racist remarks.

On June 14, Parkside High School administration was made aware of a video reportedly created by a Parkside student in which a teenager is seen brandishing a gun while making a violent, racist statement, according to Wicomico County Public Schools. The school system reports the video had been shared among students, with word about it being spread through social media.

“Please know that this video does not in any way reflect the feelings or teachings of the student’s school or of Wicomico County Public Schools,” the statement reads. “Much like those who have contacted us about the video, we are shocked and revolted by both the language and the visual content of this video.”

The Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office says an investigation is ongoing and the student in the video, a juvenile, has been identified. During that investigation, deputies recovered the rifle that was brandished and determined it to be a pellet rifle, which was seized as part of the investigation.

“This is currently an active and ongoing investigation and the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to work with the Board of Education while consulting with the State’s Attorney’s Office,” a statement from sheriff’s office reads. “The student involved in this video will not be at the school for what remains of the school year.”

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In the meantime, there have been calls for the student’s mother, Wicomico County Board of Education member Tonya Laird Lewis, to step down from her position.

In a comment this week, Laird Lewis – who is currently seeking re-election to the school board – said, “Right now, we are focusing on our son and following the policy and the protocols set forth by the Wicomico County sheriff’s office and the Wicomico County public school system.”

Wicomico County Public Schools reports the school system is also working with law enforcement to fully investigate the matter, which will also be handled in accordance with the Code of Conduct.

“While we are unable to comment on an individual student due to federal privacy rules, and cannot speak on an active investigation, please know that an investigation of this video and the student involved was immediately begun by school administration and Safe Schools personnel and is ongoing …,” a statement reads. “We thank those who shared their concerns about the video with the student’s school administrators so this matter could be addressed quickly. Supporting safety in our schools and our community is a priority for all of us, and it’s important for everyone to say something if they see or hear something concerning.”

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.