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Blackface Snapchat videos spark probe at Wayland Union Schools

"Over here we have a f***ing n-Word," said one student in the video.

WAYLAND, Mich. – District leaders at Wayland Union Schools are investigating racist Snapchat videos of high school students wearing blackface and using racial slurs.

A junior at Wayland Union High School brought the videos to the district Tuesday, which he found on an acquaintance’s Snapchat story over the weekend.

In the first video, a girl says, “I’m white, but over here we have a f***ing n-word.” She then pans to another girl in blackface, who says, “I knew I was 25 percent black.”

The second video shows a boy in blackface with the text, “I have spotted a n-word.” The student who saved and reported the video commented “WTF I don’t wanna see [sic] s**t.” The student who posted replied, “It was a joke. If you don’t like it, delete me.”

This is not the first issue of racism at Wayland Union Schools, but it’s the first time there is proof, said Melissa Barber, whose son captured the posts. Barber has four biracial children.

“They thought it was funny – my son did not. Neither does my family,” Barber said. “Racism is not a joke.”

Wayland Union Schools Superintendent Norman Taylor released a statement Tuesday condemning the posts:

Dear Parents, Students, and Community Members-

It has come to our attention that, over the weekend, some students who are enrolled in our high school engaged in behavior off campus that is considered racially insensitive. We promptly investigated this unfortunate situation and are working with the students involved.

Wayland Union Schools in no way condones racially insensitive behavior, and it does not represent the positive values we strive to teach each day.

Each year our students and staff attend an OK2Say assembly to learn about reporting safety threats and the effects of cyber bullying. We also have a tip line on our school app and website where students can report bullying, harassment, threats, and other topics. Our student organizations facilitate activities that promote acceptance and respect for all students. In addition, our staff is trained on bullying and unlawful harassment each year.

Parents please take this opportunity to talk to your children about accepting others and the ramifications of sharing negative comments or actions on social media. We don't condone behavior that makes any student feel uncomfortable or unsafe, this includes the initial act as well as retaliatory comments made afterward by other students, parents, and others.

Please rest assured that this situation is being addressed and the district is doing everything within its authority in this matter. We will continue our work to educate the students involved. In this situation, as well as our student body as a whole, on issues related to any kind of unlawful discrimination or harassment.”

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