High school football season is supposed to kick in high gear in October, but not for one Northern California team. River Valley High School in Yuba City, Calif., canceled the rest of its season after a video surfaced of the team carrying out a slave auction with Black teammates, per CNN .
According to reports, school officials received the video on Thursday.
Each student who participated in what was called an “unfortunate and extremely distressing incident,” was banned from playing the rest of the football season. The reason? They violated he school’s code of conduct, according to the report. This left the team with insufficient players for the rest of the schedule, which meant River Valley High School had to forfeit the season. Yuba City Unified School District Superintendent Doreen Osumni was not having it, as shown in a statement given to CNN.
“Re-enacting a slave sale as a prank tells us that we have a great deal of work to do with our students so they can distinguish between intent and impact,” Osumni wrote. “They may have thought this skit was funny but it is not; it is unacceptable and requires us to look honestly and deeply at issues of systemic racism.”
The students may still face disciplinary consequences because of the video, and the school also promised an implementation plan for “education, honest, open discussions and instruction” around race.
Superintendent Osumni claimed she is committing to these actions fully. “At this time, the District and site administrators are working in earnest to identify lessons and programs to help our student body learn from this situation,” she went on. “When students find humor in something that is so deeply offensive, it tells me that we have an opportunity to help them expand their mindset to be more aware, thoughtful, and considerate of others.”
It might be hard to believe, but this is not the first instance we’ve seen, regarding slave auctions in schools this year. In March, a bi-racial student said he sold in a mock auction in a school in North Carolina. According to the video, there were even instances of students singing the N-word. It makes no sense to see how people think this is funny, but here we are again.