Editor's Note (August 31st, 2018) -- For clarification, after talking with the Hendry County Sheriff's Office - no deputies had any role in helping to create the video. The sheriff's office tells Fox 4, four deputies were called to the scene to help break up the large crowd. Deputies say the students took that opportunity to record them and their patrol vehicles. The sheriff's office says it is investigating whether real weapons were used in the video. They are also concerned about what appear to be gang signs used throughout.
CLEWISTON, Fla., -- Three Clewiston High School football players were kicked off the team after they were seen in a music video waving fake guns and flashing gang signs. Parents say the kids meant no harm and the consequences are too harsh.
“Football is his way out, so taking that away from him really crushes his dream," said LaTwyiaen Carter, mother of Trayquan Williams, a senior football player that was asked to leave after he was seen rapping in the music video.
Carter pointed out to Fox 4 that Hendry County Deputies also were seen in the video and that the "kids were just having fun." She says at least four officers were around when the kids filmed it.
“They didn’t have to kick them off the team," explained Carter. "Suspending them for a game, yes. Kicking them off, no."
Carter says her son, the star running back at Clewiston High School, has dreams of playing football at the University of Florida. She says those dreams could be diminished now.
The Hendry County Deputy Superintendent was less sympathetic to the video.
“That type of behavior was so egregious and appalling that we cannot tolerate that at Clewiston High School," said Robert Egley.
Egley says that even though the video happened off-campus, the video is not the type of student-athlete "role models" Clewiston should have.
"Once he’s grown and out of school, he can do whatever he wants to do," said Egley. "Coaches have talked to their students about the dangers and parallels of social media."
Nevertheless, Carter says without football she worries her son will give up on his dreams altogether.
"He’s going to give up, he’s going to feel like nothing matters now… [He said,] 'they act like I killed somebody,' I said yeah, they really do.”
Fox 4 asked if there were any social media policies in the school handbook that pertained to off-campus behavior. Egley says there is not.
Carter says her son has written apology letters to his principal and his teammates and will do anything he can to get back on the team.