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A&M Student Gets the Boot After Racial Slur Incident

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DALLAS -- It's a story that shows how far we've come in fighting racism -- and how far we still have to go.

It played out with students from one of Uplift Education's inner-city charter schools, who were taking advantage of their "Road to College" program.

"They get to go see a university and understand what life will be like for them a couple of years from now, as a college student," Uplift CEO Yasmin Bhatia said of the program.

But three weeks ago, when a group of eleventh-graders from Uplift Hampton visited Texas A&M, they got a glimpse of a future no one wants.

"They encountered some college students there who made derogatory racial remarks to them," Bhatia recalled.

Yeah, the racial taunting led to a personal visit by A&M's president -- bearing hand-written apology letters.  It also triggered a campus investigation that ended Tuesday with A&M announcing at least one student is "no longer associated" with the university.  They also announced a handful of new diversity-based initiatives.

Texas State Senator Royce West (D - Dallas) applauded the university's response, saying he was most impressed by the Aggies themselves.

"This is the first time that we've had an incident like this where the student body - the Millenials - decided to take charge of what was happening on that campus," he said, "and said these types of actions by a few of the students won't be tolerated."

Senator West and Uplift's administration agree the incident was handled well, and Uplift accepted A&M's apologies.  But both say it'll take work to stop these incidents from happening in the future.

"This has been happening on this campus, as well as other campuses in the State of Texas and the United States of America," said West.

"We need to do more work to prepare our students for the challenges they might encounter," Bhatia said. "But also work with the higher-ed partners on how they make sure that their campuses truly are inclusive and supportive for all students."

Hey, that's a future we should all be working toward.

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