Blackface video of California high school student sparks backlash

California

A blackface incident at a California high school is sparking backlash. 

Video and pictures of a student in blackface and using at least one racial slur showed up on social media and received national attention. 

The student’s parents are now apologizing, but officials there say they’re going to take additional actions aimed at preventing a similar situation from happening again. 

In an email we received this morning from the parents, they say it was May 23rd when their daughter was at the home of a friend who is African-American.

They say the video was shared with a few friends and things quickly spiraled out of control. 

A portion of the apology reads, “Our daughter, thinking she and her friend were sharing a private ‘joke,’ went along with it. When we learned of this situation, we were distraught.”

They say the daughter was painting her face with different colors and painted her face black. 

Late she said the “n” word as her friend filmed her. 

When the girl’s fellow cheerleader Amya Wilson saw the video, she was shocked. 

“I didn’t expect that from her as a person and I didn’t expect that as a friend,” Amya said. 

Wilson and her mom reached out to the school district. 

“Then there were also coaches and teachers saying not to talk about it and be quiet about it so that was hard…”

Today, Superintendent Bob Nelson talked about the incident. 

He says the volume of social media interaction between students makes it impossible to monitor all interactions.

“I am going to give you a little context… there are 160 schools and 74,000 students if you think or have an illusion that we are going to have every interaction with exactly to the guideline you are underestimating the complexity of what we are doing every day… It doesn’t mean that a student should ever be bullied or victimized in that, ever,” Superintendent Nelson said. 

Nelson says going forward, the district will implement a parental advisory board, create a Black Student Union, expand education of cultural history, and is open to more suggestions from the community. 

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