The vice principal of Scandinavian Middle School in Fresno, California, has been suspended for making racist remarks within earshot of students. The Vice Principal was not only heard saying the remark, “I don’t like black kids,” but was also recorded by a student via a cell phone. The vice principal was speaking to a student at the time, but the conversation was thought to have been said in private. The parents of the student that recorded the video showed it to school officials, and action was taken to remove the vice principal from the school. The video quickly went viral online.
The Fresno Bee reported on the story, revealing the name of the vice principal to be Joe DeFillipo. He was placed on paid administrative leave while the incident is being investigated. According to Jed Chernabaeff, a spokesman for the school district, the video was recorded near the cafeteria, but is unsure of an exact date or time the conversation took place.
The video is only between 15–20 seconds long, so the entire conversation is not revealed. Officials from the school district want to ensure the conversation was not taken out of context and that they have the all details before taking final action against the vice principal. They stated that it is a serious matter and want to be careful to issue the correct punishment.
“Fresno Unified takes this matter very seriously and we will take any necessary actions pending the results.”
According to the video, the student asked Mr. DeFillipo what he disliked most about the school, to which he replied with the racist remarks.
ABC 13 reported that parents were shocked at DeFillipo’s racist remarks. Latricia Medley saw the video posted online and was outraged that he would say such a thing. When asked if she thought he may have responded to the student in a joking manner, she revealed that it is not something to joke about.
“I was like shocked. Why would you want to put something like that on camera in front of a bunch of kids.”
Students at Scandinavian Middle School are upset at the racist comments and some have begun chanting “don’t like black kids” while walking the halls and hanging out on campus, as a means of protest. Medley believes DeFillipo should be fired for the comments.
“I think he should be fired. Why should we have to have our kids overseen by someone that don’t like them?”
It won’t be known, until after the investigation, whether DeFillipo will be allowed to remain in a position of authority at the school. What are your thoughts, should he be fired, or should it be used as a lesson against the effects of racism?
[Photo Courtesy: My Fox D.C.]