CUSD Investigating Student’s Racist Social Media Posts

The Clovis Unified School District is currently still investigating an incident from last week in which a Buchanan High student posted racist statements on social media calling for violence against African Americans in the wake of ongoing protests of George Floyd’s death at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis in May.

The student’s posts contained numerous racial slurs, including the repeated use of the N-word. The post concluded with the student suggesting that white people should protest violence by “hunting and killing” black people.

CUSD spokesperson Kelly Avants provided a statement to the Roundup confirming that the district is pursuing a disciplinary investigation of the posts.

Avants said that the district’s pursuit for possible disciplinary action is “limited by the legal boundaries established in [the] Education Code around confidentiality and limitations on the reach of school districts into students’ personal lives outside of school, and the balance between schools right to discipline and the constitutional right of free speech.”

The student issued an apology on his Snapchat story, saying, “For all those that have seen my post, I am sorry for the words I’ve said, it took me longer than I should have but I realized that what I said was hateful and hurtful and I shouldn’t have said those things just because I was angry.”

But after the apology, the student posted another photo using another racial epithet, which has been shared on Facebook hundreds of times.

On June 3, Superintendent Eimear O’Farrell shared a message with parents and employees outlining the “intentional work underway over the past three years in our district around cultural proficiency,” according to the statement from Avants. In addition, she wrote a letter, along with a video, posted on the district’s Facebook page about cultural proficiency.

“Our work isn’t perfect, and it is far from complete. Just as we have seen over the past week, these are wounds that run deep and are complex questions that don’t have easy answers,” the letter read. “Education really is the game changer. When done right, it builds understanding. It raises awareness. It increases capacity for respect, for compassion, and for hope.”

Michael graduated from Fresno State in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in print journalism. During his time at the university, he served as sports and managing editor for The Collegian, Fresno State’s student-run newspaper. In addition to the Clovis Roundup, Michael has written for The Fresno Bee, the Kingsburg Recorder and Selma Enterprise. He has a passion for sports and can be found on the sidelines at local games, bringing the citizens of Clovis the athletics news they deserve.