A high school principal in Texas has apologized for comments he made to students regarding their attire during a “90s Throwback Day.” According to NBC affiliate KRPC 2, Oak Ridge High School Principal Anthony LiVecchi likened several of the school’s Black students to “Dr. Dre from the ‘90s” and reportedly told them they “looked like criminals.”
Earlier this week, parents and activist Quanell X met with school officials to discuss the principal’s comments. Around the same time, about 100 students sat and kneeled in a common area within the school to peacefully protest the principal’s derogatory remarks, KRPC 2 reports. After the meeting, the outlet states LiVecchi apologized. “I love you all. That’s not how you need to be treated. It won’t happen again,” LiVecchi told students via a recorded cell phone video.
The incident was initially ignited when parents caught wind of cell phone footage circulating through the school of LiVecchi comparing students to the N.W.A. co-founder. Within the video, LiVecchi can be heard saying, “It’s embarrassing. It’s frustrating. You got people taking pictures, posing like they’re Dr. Dre from the 90s. Doesn’t make our school look good.”
Several students shared their feelings on the controversy with KRPC 2. “[It’s] kind of downplaying on the way my mom and dad dressed when they were in school,” senior Nekia Baker said. “The analogy of comparing us to Dr. Dre was used to bring us down and to degrade the way we were dressing and to degrade our school spirit and our 90s day,” said junior Nia Dixon.
“I run track. I have some records for the school, and when we were walking by, he said y’all look like criminals. I’m like, how is us dressing and expressing predominantly 90s and 2000s Black culture equated to being a criminal?” asked student Trinidad Robinson.
The outlet also reports that some students, who were not initially involved, decided to make racist remarks and threats on social media toward the students who were called names by their principal. Those students are now reportedly being investigated by law enforcement.