michael-young-portrait

Texas A&M President Michael K. Young

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Texas A&M University’s president has apologized after a group of black and Latino high school students touring the campus this week reported hearing racial slurs and references to the Confederate flag.

Two Black high school students said they were approached by a White A&M student wearing Confederate flag earrings, state Sen. Royce West said Thursday. Others in the tour group said they heard White A&M students telling them to “Go back where you came from,” and using an anti-Black slur, said West, a Dallas Democrat who said he was contacted by university officials.

School President Michael K. Young said in a statement Wednesday that he was “outraged and tremendously disappointed.”

“This troubling incident will be thoroughly investigated to the fullest extent possible and appropriate action will be taken,” Young said.

The 60-student group touring A&M was from Uplift Hampton Preparatory, a charter school in a minority neighborhood on Dallas’ southwest side. Uplift Hampton is 66 percent Black and 32 percent Latino.

Uplift CEO Yasmin Bhatia said in a statement that the students were part of a program trying to help more minority and low-income high school students go to college.

“While we appreciate the swift response of the Texas A&M leadership, it is my hope that we broaden the conversation ant colleges locally and across the country about increasing inclusion and cultural awareness programs so that all students can feel safe and welcome regardless of their ethnicity,” Bhatia said.

Texas A&M’s student body is 3.4 percent Black.

Young said he had asked university officials to meet with student and community leaders, and called on students to report any alleged incidents of racism or discrimination.

Police are investigating the incident, but have not yet released a report about it or commented on whether any students are being investigated.

West, the vice chairman of the Texas Senate Higher Education Committee, said he wanted to see any students involved “strongly disciplined, if not expelled.”

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Online:

http://stophate.tamu.edu/