CLAYTON, Calif. (KRON) — Last week, a student at Diablo View Middle School distributed cotton balls on campus as a joke to mock Black History Month. But school district leaders were not made aware of it until this week.

The racist incident at the Clayton middle school prompted a response from the East County NAACP. For this group of parents, councilmembers, activists, kids and neighbors in Clayton,
one student being disciplined for a racist act that may include up to eight others — is not enough.

“You know, I have two Black children. They’ve been subject to bullying and I don’t know what to tell them,” Steve Rossi, a father said.

Raw emotion was visible from Rossi as he was consoled by one of his sons outside Diablo View Middle School Saturday morning. The pain of a racist act still fresh less than two weeks after it happened. An act school administrators did not immediately relay to the superintendent’s office or to the victims’ parents.

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Councilmember Holly Tillman says, “My concern were those students who for eight days had to go through knowing that their school administration did not have their back.”

Days after a student distributed cotton balls on campus to mock Black History Month, Mount Diablo Unified School District Superintendent Adam Clark sent a letter to parents stating the school and district leaders fell short of addressing the situation properly. He says one student was disciplined, but the east county NAACP and Clayton councilmember Holly Tillman say up to eight may have been involved. Tillman met with the principal Friday.

“To me, it had been swept under the rug. I get that people were suspended, which I don’t approve of really, because what are they going to do, do outside and play?” Tillman said.

This incident has been disturbing for parents and leaders in this predominantly white community. Some believe the all students involved should be disciplined along with the principal who it allegedly kept district leaders in the dark on the issue.

Local leaders are encouraging families to show up to the Mount Diablo Unified School District Board of Education’s meeting on Feb. 22 to share their concerns.