Students at North Texas School Disciplined After Holding Slave Auction on Snapchat

Illustration for article titled Students at North Texas School Disciplined After Holding Slave Auction on Snapchat
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Students at a school in Northern Texas were disciplined after they set up a slave auction game on social media pretending to sell their Black classmates. The incident took place in the Aledo Independent School District, where students at the Daniel Ninth Grade Campus cyberbullied other students based on their race, according to a statement from Superintendent Dr. Susan Bohn.

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The district is working with law enforcement to address what happened.

According to the Star-Telegram, local activists said that a group of students started the online slave auction and provided a screenshot that showed a Snapchat group with names such as “Slave Trade” and another name that the newspaper did not print. But civil rights lawyer S. Lee Merritt published a screenshot on Twitter purportedly from the auction with the words “Nigger Auction,” along with prices that the Black students were supposedly sold for.

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A student wrote in the snap that one of his classmates “Would be better if his hair wasn’t so bad.”

Eddie Burnett, president of Parker County NAACP, learned about the situation on Sunday and that he will take up the issue at the Aledo school board meeting April 19.

“There is no room for racism or hatred in the Aledo ISD, period,” according to a statement from Superintendent Dr. Susan Bohn. “Using inappropriate, offensive and racially charged language and conduct is completely unacceptable and is prohibited by district policy.”

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The district did not outline exactly how the students were disciplined.

Here is more from the Star-Telegram:

In a letter sent to parents the week of April 5, Principal Carolyn Ansley wrote that “an incident of cyberbullying and harassment” led to conversations about how inappropriate and hurtful language can impact others.

The district spoke with all the students involved, as well as their parents, and “made it clear that statements and conduct that targets a student because of his or her race is not only prohibited but also has a profound impact on the victims,” Bohn said in the statement.

“This incident has caused tremendous pain for the victims, their families, and other students of color and their families, and for that we are deeply saddened,” the statement said.

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ABC 8 reports that some of the parents who were contacted about the racist incident said the school district wasn’t clear about what exactly happened.

“Part of the issue is parents were really upset that the original memo that came out said nothing about racism,” Jo Jessup, a parent of a ninth grader in the district, said.

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Burnett, the local NAACP president, said enough is enough.

“My reaction is, ‘What, again? Again?’ How many times we got to go through this?” he said.

Terrell Jermaine Starr is a senior reporter at The Root. He is currently writing a book proposal that analyzes US-Russia relations from a black perspective.

DISCUSSION

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Josh The Cannabis Columnist

Maybe if we just stopped talking about Texas, it would go away.