Rio Americano Students, Faculty Meet to Discuss Racist Post

SACRAMENTO -- There were messages of love, encouragement, unity and support for black students as people arrived at the Rio Americano High School campus on Monday.

It was a stark contrast to the other message associated with the day, a post laced with racial slurs made to look like it came from Rio Americano’s website. The message threatened violence from Aug. 26 forward against black students on campus.

"When I seen this post it made me so angry," student Jalen Taylor said.

Taylor says someone sent the post to his phone last week. His mother, Lavias Taylor, said she took the issue to administrators who quickly began investigating.  They have determined the message was never posted to the school site but she says that’s not the point.

"Or we’re hearing things like, 'It’s not a big deal, it didn’t get to the site, it’s fake,'" she said. "The words are real. The words are real. The effects that these children feel are real."

On Monday, the district tried to show they have received the message. Greeters included district staff, administrators and faculty.

"After that negativity that was circulating about Rio and about this fake policy, we really wanted to come together and let students know they are welcome on campus," San Juan Unified School District spokeswoman Raj Rai said.

"When I first came here I felt a relief of joy. It was so good to know I’m not the only person here that is understanding this," Jalen said.

While heartened by the warm welcome, Jalen says this should only be the beginning.

He was flanked Monday by other concerned students, his parents and community leaders and activists, all calling for the San Juan Unified School District and Rio Americano High School to take a comprehensive approach to race relations on campus.

They also called for the formation of a Black Student Union.

Meanwhile, local authorities and the FBI are investigating the origin of the racist post.

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