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New York high school faces $12 million lawsuit over slideshow accused of being racist

Posted at 9:27 AM, Jan 10, 2020

SUFFOLK COUNTY, N.Y. -- Long Island high school students were horrified when they say a teacher's slideshow compared them to animals. Now, a $12 million lawsuit has been filed in connection with the incident.

A slide, featuring a picture of black students, was captioned "monkey do." The picture was taken during a field trip to the Bronx Zoo. Student Khevin Beaubrun took video of the slideshow and posted it to social media.

"So what are you doing with this picture? He told me 'oh, it's going to be perfect for the slideshow,'" Beaubrun said about his initial interaction with teacher Mr. Heinrichs about the photo.

The slideshow was played in multiple classrooms.

Attorney John Ray is representing four honors students at Longwood High School.

"If you're white, do you think that black people are monkeys? Well, the Middle Island School District thinks that," he said.

The superintendent of schools called the photo an unfortunate lapse in judgment.

Parents said their kids have been advised not to go to the class. They were told the students would get incompletes, but be allowed to make up the work.

"Why should they get an incomplete for something the teacher did?" one parent asked.

This story was originally published by Shirley Chan at WPIX.