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BY Francis Akhalbey, 8:30am April 25, 2023,

Vice principal under investigation after describing black girls as ‘ghetto’ and ‘section 8’

Fred Veenendaal has been placed on paid administrative leave -- Images via KMPH

A vice principal in California is being accused of racial profiling after he was recorded describing three Black teenage girls as “ghetto” and “section 8” during a heated exchange in a gated community in North Fresno.

In an interview with KMPH, Kyra Schrubb, 17, and Bri’janae Lewis, 17, said they were passing through the gated community to take a shortcut when they encountered Fred Veenendaal. Kyra resides in that area while Bri’janae lives close by. 

Kyra’s mother also told the news outlet that they can enter the gated community because they know an individual who stays there, adding that her daughter and her friend use that route when they are headed to the store because it saves them several minutes of walking time.

However, as the girls walked through the area on Sunday, they saw Veenendaal – a vice principal at Sunnyside High School – recording them. In a video of the encounter that was recorded by the girls, Veenendaal is heard telling them that he’s a member of the gated community’s board of directors.

He also appears to contact the police during the back-and-forth with the three girls. “Officers, you got three girls here … three section-8 people here … ghetto girls,” he is heard saying in the video.

“Why would you even say some stuff like that? We’re minors,” Bri’janae told KMPH. “It was unnecessary. You didn’t have to do all that, you didn’t have to racial profile for no reason. I feel so bad because like as a black woman, I should be able to walk … and just walk peacefully without, you know, people being racist for no reason,” Kyra added.

Responding to the incident in a statement, Fresno Unified School District said Veenendaal has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into the matter. “We are aware of the video circulating, and the district started an investigation into the matter early Monday. The labels used in the video do not align with the high standards we have for our Fresno Unified leaders and staff,” the school district said.

“We want to assure our families that having respectful, inclusive, and loving adults serving in our school is of the utmost importance to Sunnyside and our district as a whole.”

Bri’janae said she hopes Veenendaal “gets fired.” “He gotta go,” she added.

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: April 25, 2023


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