MASON, Ohio -- Mason City Schools are on the defensive once again after another racist incident surfaced Monday afternoon.
A male student has apparently posted a video message containing several racial stereotypes and offensive language to social media, which quickly caught the school's attention. (Reader discretion advised due to coarse language.)
School officials responded by posting the following statement to their website on Monday night:
This afternoon at about 1:30 p.m., our high school administrative team was alerted to an offensive video that contained racial slurs from an MHS student at school today. While the district cannot discuss individual student discipline due to FERPA restrictions, racial slurs and discriminatory language are a violation of our student code of conduct. All reports of of such behavior are investigated fully and would result in disciplinary action.
We are grateful to the students who reported this situation. We want our classroom conversations to stand up against racism and discrimination, and to offer messages of hope and resilience. Sometimes those conversations occur naturally within our curriculum, and other times they arise unexpectedly through student concerns, comments, or behavior.
Thank you for your partnership as we reinforce that our school environment must be a respectful one that is safe and welcoming for all.
Just a couple weeks ago, a Mason Middle School teacher was placed on administrative leave and completed racial sensitivity training after telling an African-American boy that his classmates may "lynch" him for disrupting their studies.
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Lynching remains a racially sensitive topic as approximately 3,446 African-Americans were lynched between 1882 and 1968 as a way for whites to resolve racial tension, according to the NAACP.
"We have seen an uptick in the number of racially and culturally insensitive comments in our schools and community," Mason's public information officer Tracey Carson wrote in a letter to parents after the January incident. "As a district, we want to be very clear. We are not OK normalizing racial slurs. Anyone who does so faces disciplinary action."
Issues of race also came to the forefront at nearby Kings Local School District in early January. High school students were banned from a recreational basketball league for jerseys with racial slurs written on them. A Kings school board member then resigned, saying his son was on the team.