Shaw University president says students racially profiled, searched during South Carolina school trip

Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office
Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office(WITN)
Published: Oct. 11, 2022 at 1:46 PM EDT
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SPARTANBURG COUNTY S.C. (WITN) - The president of Shaw University, a historically Black university in Raleigh, said she was “outraged” Monday after she said students were wrongfully stopped and searched during a trip to Atlanta.

WRAL reports that Paulette Dillard released a statement saying 18 students were riding a charter bus on a trip on Oct. 5th when authorities in Spartanburg County stopped the driver for a minor traffic violation.

Dillard said authorities used drug-sniffing dogs to stop and search the students, and the university president believes they were racially profiled.

Her statement reads, in part:

“Traveling by contract bus, South Carolina Law Enforcement stopped the team in Spartanburg County under the pretext of a minor traffic violation. A couple of officers boarded the bus and asked the driver where he was headed. Multiple sheriff deputies and drug-sniffing dogs searched the suitcases of the students and staff located in the luggage racks beneath the bus.

In a word, I am “outraged.” This behavior of targeting Black students is unacceptable and will not be ignored nor tolerated. Had the students been White, I doubt this detention and search would have occurred.

It’s 2022.”

Paulette Dillard, Shaw University president

Dillard added that nothing illegal was found in the search by the law enforcement officers, and that throughout the potentially dangerous situation, “our students and staff conducted themselves calmly and with tremendous restraint. Our students stood tall amid an unnerving and humiliating experience and because of their dignified and professional response, the situation did not escalate into something far more sinister.”

The driver of the Shaw student bus was cited for improper lane use.

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