Racist video allegedly involving TVHS student under investigation

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Allen Williams, principal of Temecula Valley High School, sends an email to school stakeholders Friday, Aug. 28, indicating that the school was investigating a video reportedly featuring at least one TVHS student making racist comments and slurs. Valley News/Courtesy photo

A video showing two teenage females using racist language surfaced in recent days causing an uproar on social media and prompting Allen Williams, principal of Temecula Valley High School, to issue a statement to school stakeholders.

“It came to our schools’ attention that there is a video of a Temecula Valley High School student making racist remarks, which included use of the N-word,” Williams said in the emailed statement Friday, Aug. 28. “This is despicable behavior and will not be tolerated.
“Please be assured that we will adhere to the California Education Code and the California Penal Code as we investigate and make determinations on consequences. Law enforcement has been notified and is working alongside us,” he said.

The video, which is short in length, showed the two teenagers laughing and giggling as they make the derogatory statements, seemingly toward someone who Valley News has not yet identified.

Valley News has chosen not to reveal the names of the two females alleged to be featured in the video.

While TVHS reported that one of the students attends the school, it is unknown if the other person involved in the video attends school locally.

“Racism needs to be confronted swiftly and directly and be assured we are doing so,” Williams said. “Although we may never know what motivates students to use such reprehensible and racist slurs, it is the actions of the students that we must and are responding to.

“It is imperative that TVHS exemplifies inclusivity and acceptance for all members of our community and actively combats racism. I encourage all of the Golden Bear Family to embrace and support this important work,” he said.

The 2019-2020 school year at TVHS has experienced its share of racially charged controversies, starting with the painting of a depiction of a Confederate flag on a senior student’s parking spot, which prompted complaints from fellow students.

Ultimately, the artwork was removed, but the incident sparked a discussion about racism, bullying and bigotry at the school that lasted the entire school year. A hashtag, #tvhsneedschange, began circulating on social media with students sharing experiences they had endured while attending school.

Williams addressed TVHS parents at a town hall-style meeting in the school’s multipurpose room Tuesday, Feb. 25, that was tense at times.

In addition to the dialogue between students and administration at TVHS, Temecula Valley Unified School District has also brought in an outside group, Generation Ready, to help the district with cultural proficiency efforts, according to information provided by TVUSD representative Laura Boss.

Associated Editor Will Fritz contributed to this report.

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at jpack@reedermedia.com.