social media

Mansfield ISD Student Posts Blackface Video on Social Media

"There is no acceptable excuse or explanation for behaviors or speech that promote racism"

Mansfield ISD continues to investigate after one of its students posted a video on social media smearing herface with black body paint and using a racial slur, the district said in a statement Wednesday.

The district said the video was posted by a Lake Ridge High School student.

The incident did not happen on campus, according to the district.

"There is no acceptable excuse or explanation for behaviors or speech that promote racism," Donald Williams, assistant superintendent of communications and marketing, said in a statement. "These behaviors do not reflect who we are or aspire to be in MISD and will not be tolerated."

On Thursday, a spokesman for MISD told NBC 5 the district is now investigating whether more than one student was involved in the video.

While the district cannot legally speak about any possible discipline involving the student in question, in general terms even if an incident happens off-campus if it is deemed to be inappropriate and disruptive a student can be suspended.

The president of the Fort Worth/Tarrant County NAACP Chapter viewed the video.

"It is totally unacceptable," said chapter president Estella Williams.

She and Fort Worth attorney and NAACP member Albert Roberts struggled to hear the recording and understand why a girl would act in such a way.

"I see actions that are maybe benign, maybe small to some but hurtful to others," said Roberts.

Both want to educate the teen about the pain Blackface represents for many African Americans.

"Black people were 'tokens' in movies and they, were depicted very evil or demonic or as violent characters," said Roberts.

"We didn't have the opportunity to have the privilege of going to an school, activities, performances except if you had to be in those performances in a certain way," said Williams. "It's hurtful."

Especially hurtful, she says, given the history of racial tension in Mansfield.

The small suburb fought against a court order to integrate its schools.

Mobs of people blocked entrances at gunpoint, effigies were hung from trees or on school buildings.

Black students were bussed to Fort Worth for school.

Schools in Mansfield were not integrated until 1965.

Roberts questions where the teen girl learned the behavior demonstrated on camera.

"Who is her Sunday school teacher," he asked. "Who are the other people in our community that is helping raise or contributing to behavior you see and you don't see?"

"Your first initial training starts at home," added Williams. 

Mansfield school district officials said they were working with Twitter to remove the video.

As of Thursday afternoon the district said it was still working on having the video removed from social media.

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