School District Investigates ‘Racially Insensitive’ Video Allegedly Made by 2 McClatchy High School Students

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SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento City Unified School District is facing criticism after a video of two students wearing blackface and using a racial slur went viral.

The Instagram video shows two high school kids, a boy and girl, twice saying the racial slur, once while wearing what appears to be a black face mask.

Black Lives Matter Sacramento posted the video to their Facebook page, claiming both students attend C.K. McClatchy Senior High School on Freeport Boulevard in Sacramento.

"You can’t clown around with stuff like that. It’s not tolerated, you know?" said former student Jamarion Bowie.

Before graduating from Rosemont, Bowie attended McClatchy from 2013 through 2014. He said he recognized the male student in the video.

"I forgot his name but he went there," Bowie said. "He was friends with some of the girls I hung out with. Wasn’t usually doing stuff like that."

SCUSD says it is investigating the video. Although there is a strong suspicion the students attend McClatchy, the district has not confirmed that fact yet.

"From Elk Grove School District, San Juan School District, Natomas School District, all of these school districts have a problem with race," said community activist Berry Accius.

Accius is the founder of Voice of The Youth, an outreach program that focuses on alternatives to violence. He says this video coming from McClatchy students does not surprise him.

"Just a few months ago, during the school year, we had the science project," Accius recalled.

In February, McClatchy was again at the center of outrage when a student submitted a science fair project questioning the intelligence of minority students. The project was left up on public display for an entire day before it was taken down.

"And we had a great PSA on 'we won’t tolerate it' but it seems that we are tolerating it," Accius said.

Accius says often a lack of consequences for students behind videos like the most recent one will create an environment in which racism thrives. It's a reason he believes the students need a race sensitivity class.

"I would love for those students to come and sit down with me," Accius said. "I would love to have those students come and do some real work in the communities that I work in."

Meanwhile, Bowie hopes the video is not overlooked by school officials, a reaction he’s seen happen at McClatchy in the past.

"When I went there, a lot of stuff was going on. They just brushed it under the rug," he said.

SCUSD Superintendent Jorge Aguilar released a statement Wednesday about the video after it was posted on social media, which reads in part:

"I am aware that two students from our district posted an inappropriate video over social media using racial slurs and engaging in other racially insensitive behavior. Our district takes very seriously and finds unacceptable the use of racist language and behavior by any student, employee or member of our school community. The use of racially offensive language or behavior in our schools by anyone does not reflect our values as a school district and will not be tolerated."

The NAACP has reached out to McClatchy's principal, Peter Lambert, and demanded action be taken against the students.

"In light of the rapid expansion of white supremacy across the United States, and the dangers it creates, the district needs to send a message that this type of behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated on any of its campuses," said Betty Williams, president of the Sacramento NAACP.

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