A high school in Yuba City has cancelled the remainder of its soccer season after team members were filmed practicing a prank that appeared to be “auctioning” in front of their Black teammates.
The video showed members of the River Valley High School football team appearing to represent a “slave auction” to their black colleagues.
School district officials received the video Thursday. Yuba City Unified School Principal Doreen Osumi called the video “unacceptable” and “extremely offensive” in a written statement shared with CNN.
The students involved in the “unfortunate and extremely distressing incident” were barred from competing the rest of the football season for violating the student athlete code of conduct, Osumi said.
Because of this, the varsity football team no longer has enough members to play and the rest of the season has been forfeited, she said.
“Re-enacting a slave sale as a prank tells us that we have a lot of work to do with our students so they can distinguish between intent and impact,” the superintendent wrote.
“They may have thought this skit was funny, but it’s not; it’s unacceptable and forces us to look honestly and deeply at issues of systemic racism.”
Osumi added that some students could face disciplinary consequences as a result of the video and that the school would also implement “frank and open education, discussion and guidelines” about racism.
“Right now, the district and site administration are working hard to identify lessons and programs to help our student body learn from this situation,” she continued. “When students find humor in something that is so deeply offensive, it tells me that we have an opportunity to help them develop their mindset to be more aware, reflective and considerate of others.”
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