A student at Diablo View Middle School is accused of bringing cotton balls to campus to mock Black History Month celebrations. According to KTVU FOX 2, the incident, which was labeled as “racist” by Mt. United Diablo School District Superintendent Dr. Adam Clark, was communicated to parents in a letter.
Clark said the cotton balls the student brought were shared among students at the school, adding that it was intended to be a “joke.” Clark also said multiple students partook in the stunt. And though the student accused of bringing the cotton balls has since been disciplined, the nature of the punishment wasn’t disclosed.
“Unfortunately, we as school and District leaders missed a crucial opportunity to turn this bullying and racist incident into a learning opportunity. I will correct that inaction. That said, Mt. Diablo Unified School District is committed to creating a safe and welcoming environment for all students,” Clark said.
The superintendent also said the incident does not reflect the values of the district. He stated that they’re working to tackle bullying in “all forms.”
“We have to directly address and reject all forms of offensive and divisive behavior within our school communities…I encourage all parents to talk to your students about what kinds of language/actions are acceptable at school…as we work to address this offensive event, safe conversations can take place to prevent any student from feeling unwelcome or intimidated within our schools,” Clark said.
The incident reportedly occurred about two weeks ago. But school district leaders were informed about it last week, KRON reported. “My concern were those students who for eight days had to go through knowing that their school administration did not have their back,” Councilmember Holly Tillman said.
Tillman alongside a group of parents, activists, children, and neighbors also said the other students who distributed the cotton balls should equally face disciplinary action.
“To me, it had been swept under the rug. I get that people were suspended, which I don’t approve of really, because what are they going to do, go outside and play?” Tillman said.
Recently, a high school student in Orange County, California, was disciplined after making “inflammatory racist comments” toward a Black basketball player during a game, according to the Saddleback Valley Unified School District (SVUSD).