- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Texas A&M University’s top administrators visited a Dallas high school Tuesday to apologize to students who were berated with racial slurs during a recent tour of the college campus.

About 60 students from Uplight Hampton Preparatory, an inner-city charter school, were touring Texas A&M on Feb. 9 when a white female college student reportedly approached the group and asked two black teenagers what they thought of her Confederate flag earrings. A verbal altercation ensued, during which other college students allegedly told the high schoolers to “go back where you came from” and began hurling racial epithets.

Thirteen A&M students used the slurs against the high schoolers, said Sara Ortega, a spokeswoman for Uplight.

Texas A&M President Michael Young, Chancellor John Sharp, student body President Joseph Benigno and state Sen. Royce West, a Democrat who represents the Dallas area, all visited the high school this week to personally apologize to the students.

“I wanted them to know that doesn’t represent the values that we really hold dear at A&M. Also, we wanted to tell them we were tremendously impressed with them and how proud of them we are in terms of how they reacted — and that they are precisely the kinds of students we’d love to see enrolling,” Mr. Young said in a statement.

Mr. Benigno, the student body representative, presented the high schoolers with several thousand letters handwritten by Texas A&M classmates apologizing for the incident.

“Yesterday we had a coordinated effort with tables around campus and we distributed stationery to different student organizations for students to express how sorry they were to the high school students about what happened to them,” he said, Courthouse News Service reported. “Their experience was in no way representative of what Texas A&M really stands for. It was really satisfying to have those letters in a big box, these thousands of letters to show them and say, ‘This is what we really stand for.’”

Mr. Young said the university had begun identifying the college students involved and that the perpetrators were subject to disciplinary action.

Mr. West, suggested that the school go as far as to expel the students who shouted racial slurs.

“I expect a response that is swift and similar to those taken at the University of Oklahoma,” said the senator, likely referring to a May 2015 incident in which two college students were booted from the school after being caught on camera leading a racist chant. “The students responsible for these reprehensible actions should be strongly disciplined, if not expelled.”

Texas A&M’s College Station campus is made up of mostly white students — 59.5 percent, per a demographics report released last fall — while blacks and Hispanics make up only 3.6 percent and 19.5 percent of the student body, respectively.

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