The incident has caused widespread anger among the parents of the victims as well as other families of color in the district
Trigger Warning: The story has details of racism that readers may find disturbing
In a disturbing incident, students of a school in Texas conducted a mock auction of their Black classmates online where they put amounts ranging from $1 to $100 on them. The students are all from the Daniel Ninth Grade Campus located on the outskirts of Dallas-Forth Worth metropolis. The local school district has taken action against the students and also issued a strongly worded statement denouncing racism. "There is no room for racism or hatred in the Aledo ISD, period. Using inappropriate, offensive, and racially charged language and conduct is completely unacceptable and is prohibited by district policy," it read. The incident took place about two weeks ago and the school district stated it had "launched an immediate and thorough investigation that involved law enforcement."
At the same time, they stated that their own inquiry into the matter concluded that "racial harassment and cyberbullying had occurred." Accordingly, action was taken as per the Student Code of Conduct of the school district and other measures in accordance with their policy. Understandably, the incident has caused widespread anger among the parents of the victims as well as other families of color in the district. But a few parents said they were not at all surprised by the incident since the community was highly polarised on the issue of race. "I was not shocked, honestly, because of the community we live in," Parent Ella Bullock told NBC. The district has 6,400 enrolled students.
White students from @AledoISD hosted a slave auction on Snapchat where they sold black classmates for between $1-$100.— S. Lee Merritt, Esq. (@MeritLaw) April 13, 2021
The racism pouring into our politics, our public safety, our national security is being incubated in our schools. pic.twitter.com/jkdKXZfHz2
However, no details of how many students were involved have been released. The screenshot labeled "Slave trade" used racial slurs. In one post, a student wrote: "$1 for Chris" and added it "would be better if his hair wasn't so bad." As part of more measures to deal with the case, the Aledo ISD statement added it had "immediately engaged in conversations and communication with students and the student group that was 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. We also shared this message with staff and parents at the campus." Eddie Burnett, who is the president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in nearby Tarrant County, spoke about this incident as well.
Aledo ISD students punished for ‘slave trade auction’ on Snapchat of Black classmates https://t.co/ItLTXR6bha— FOX 5 DC (@fox5dc) April 13, 2021
"My reaction is, 'What, again? Again?' How many times we got to go through this?" said Burnett, according to a Newsweek report. He added such incidents should not be treated as children being immature. "'It's just kids. They're just playing. They don't know any better.' Well damn, teach them better. I think the school's least responsibility is to teach racial justice and sensitivity. If you're not teaching and leading by example that it's wrong, then you're tacitly telling somebody that it's OK. ... This is not who we are. It doesn't represent us.' Uh, well, yeah, it does. It does because there's something in the environment. We have got to start having conversations with each other and get to know our neighbors. The one way that we have a hope of understanding each other is if we have conversations," Burnett added.
The crazy thing about this is that nothing really is going to happen to the kids that organized this. That’s how awesome it is to be white in America. I’ve never in my life had the thought to do anything like this towards white kids. Despite what I know about my history.— Stillgetbuckets (@Buckets2k19) April 13, 2021
Meanwhile, the Aledo ISD said it will take more measures to ensure that "students, staff and parents in our community understand the negative impact of racism and other forms of harassment on victims as well as the consequences of these actions at school through district-led educational opportunities." It added, "We live in a community that comes together in support of its children and families, especially in difficult times, and we want our students of color to understand that they are loved and supported in Aledo ISD. We ask that our parents and community continue to have important conversations with their children at home about racism and other forms of harassment as we all work together as a community." Last year, two students in Georgia were expelled for allegedly posting a racist video on social media as per our report.