Yesterday (Feb. 9), parents in Contra Costa County were told that a student at Diablo View Middle School in Clayton, California would be disciplined following a racist act. School officials revealed a teen brought cotton balls to the campus and passed them out to mock Black History Month.
The incident happened last week, according to local news station KTVU 2. Dr. Adam Clark, superintendent of the Mt. United Diablo School District issued notices to parents regarding the pupil’s behavior. “Unfortunately, we as school and District leaders missed a crucial opportunity to turn this bullying and racist incident into a learning opportunity. I will correct that inaction. That said, Mt. Diablo Unified School District is committed to creating a safe and welcoming environment for all students,” his statement read in part. Clark claimed the student brought the cotton balls as a “joke.”
“We have to directly address and reject all forms of offensive and divisive behavior within our school communities… I encourage all parents to talk to your students about what kinds of language/actions are acceptable at school… as we work to address this offensive event, safe conversations can take place to prevent any student from feeling unwelcome or intimidated within our schools,” Clark added. The student’s grade was not revealed.
Clark also mentioned, “Although the student who initially brought the cotton balls to campus was disciplined, there were other students who participated.” The superintendent did not specify what kind of punishment the teen would face. According to him, “This incident does not represent [their] values.” Earlier this week, a similar situation happened in Philadelphia, where a group of white teens mocked Black History Month by spraying a white friend’s face with black paint. In a video uploaded to social media, one teen said things like, “It’s February! You’re nothing but a slave. After this, you’re doing my laundry.”