May 16, 2019 - 3:50 pm
Updated May 16, 2019 - 6:06 pm
A Palo Verde High School student filmed singing song lyrics with racial slurs and the phrase “they can burn in hell” is the second racist incident to go public in the Clark County School District this week.
The video shows a male student singing lyrics from a profanity-laced song that uses racial slurs in its chorus, throwing curses at Rosa Parks and saying Martin Luther King Jr. deserved to be killed.
The section of the song that the student quoted uses expletives and racial slurs directed at African-Americans, noting, “They can burn in hell” and “(Expletive) Rosa Parks, I slap that (expletive) as well.”
In a message sent to parents on Wednesday, Principal Darren Sweikert said he received several SafeVoice messages about the video on social media.
“Behavior like this will not be tolerated at our school nor anywhere in the Clark County School District,” the principal’s message said. “While no direct threat has been made to our school or specific students, this kind of dialogue is unacceptable.”
A district spokeswoman said the video was not filmed on campus. It is unclear what, if any, disciplinary action the student faces. But in general, the spokeswoman said, students who participate in incidents that cause a campus disturbance can receive disciplinary action.
Parent Patsy Brown said her daughter was surprised when she discovered the video because the student in the video was an acquaintance of hers at Palo Verde.
“I was confused,” Brown said. “You know, I took a moment back, because I’m still a little shaken by it because I don’t really know what to do with it. … It’s shocking to me.”
It’s the second incident connected with a Clark County school this week, after a local rabbi discovered his daughter had come home from Escobedo Middle School with a note bearing a swastika and the message: “You don’t belong here.”
Questions about racist behavior in schools reached a fever pitch in March after Arbor View High School students posted pictures of black students on Instagram with racial slurs and threats to shoot up the school. Two male teenagers were arrested, while a third was cited for cyberbullying.
Although a 2015 law required teachers who obtained an initial license after July 1, 2015, to complete a course in multicultural education upon renewal, the requirement was left unenforced for years while the Commission on Professional Standards under the Department of Education hashed out the details of such course. Students will begin learning new multicultural topics next school year.