FORT WORTH, Texas — A group of students at a school in Aledo, west of Fort Worth, were disciplined based on a slave auction they set up on social media to pretend to sell their Black classmates, according to local activists.
The Aledo Independent School District learned of an incident where students at the Daniel Ninth Grade Campus cyberbullied and harassed other students based on their race, according to a statement from Superintendent Dr. Susan Bohn. The district started an investigation that involved law enforcement.
The district did not specify what the incident involved and said administrators learned about it more than two weeks ago. Local activists told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that a group of students set up the slave auction. A screenshot provided to the Star-Telegram showed a Snapchat group with various names, including "Slave Trade" and another name that includes a racial slur. One person typed they would spend $1 on a peer, and another person wrote in the chat they would pay $100 for someone else.
Tony Crawford, an activist and leader with Parker County Progressives, said the situation was "another in a long line of incidents that are swept under the rug."
"Can you imagine what it's like for somebody to put a price on your head?" he said in regards to the students who were victims of the cyberbullying. "I cannot imagine the embarrassment and hurt that people you might be friends with are having that conversation."
Eddie Burnett, president of Parker County NAACP, said he learned about the situation Sunday. He plans to talk about the situation at the Aledo school board meeting on April 19.
The district did not specify what discipline the students received.
"There is no room for racism or hatred in the Aledo ISD, period," Bohn said in the statement. "Using inappropriate, offensive and racially charged language and conduct is completely unacceptable and is prohibited by district policy."
In a letter sent to parents the week of April 5, Principal Carolyn Ansley wrote that "an incident of cyberbullying and harassment" led to conversations about how inappropriate and hurtful language can impact others.
The district spoke with all the students involved, as well as their parents, and "made it clear that statements and conduct that targets a student because of his or her race is not only prohibited but also has a profound impact on the victims," Bohn said in the statement.
"This incident has caused tremendous pain for the victims, their families, and other students of color and their families, and for that we are deeply saddened," the statement said.
Black history from the year you were born
Black history from the year you were born
1919: Oscar Micheaux produces 'The Homesteader'
1920: Zeta Phi Beta is established at Howard University
1921: 'Shuffle Along' becomes the first major African American musical on Broadway
1922: Abolitionist Frederick Douglass' home becomes a national museum
1923: Jean Toomer's 'Cane' is published
1924: National Bar Association founded
1925: A. Philip Randolph and Milton P. Webster create the BSCP
1926: Negro History Week is formed
1927: Floyd Joseph Calvin hosts the first Black radio show
1928: First African American elected to Congress
1929: Negro Experimental Theatre established
1930: Howard University Gallery of Art is established
1931: Scottsboro boys are falsely convicted
1932: 'Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male' begins
1933: Dr. Carter G. Woodson's 'The Mis-Education of the Negro' is published
1934: Maggie Lena Walker dies
1935: National Council of Negro Women is created
1936: Jesse Owens wins four gold medals at the Berlin Games
1937: 'Their Eyes Were Watching God' is published
1938: Artist Jacob Lawrence shows his first exhibition
1939: Marian Anderson sings at Lincoln Memorial
1940: Hattie McDaniel wins an Academy Award
1941: National Negro Opera Company is created
1942: Hugh Mulzac becomes the first African American captain to command an integrated crew
1943: Detroit Race Riots
1944: United Negro College Fund is created
1945: Ebony magazine debuts
1946: Morgan v. Virginia invalidates separate but equal on interstate bus transport
1947: 16 men embark on the 'Journey of Reconciliation'
1948: Desegregation of the U.S. Armed Forces
1949: First Black-owned radio station
1950: Gregory Swanson is admitted to the University of Virginia Law School
1951: 'We Charge Genocide' petition is presented to the United Nations
1952: Cora Brown becomes Michigan's first Black woman elected to state senator
1953: Ralph Ellison wins the National Book Award for 'Invisible Man'
1954: Davis et al. v. the St. Louis Housing Authority ends racial discrimination in St. Louis Housing Authority
1955: Read's Drug Store sit-ins
1956: 'The Nat King Cole Show' challenges racial lines on TV
1957: Civil Rights Act of 1957
1958: Willie O'Ree is the first Black player in the National Hockey League
1959: Motown Records is founded
1960: Ruby Bridges integrates Louisiana schools
1961: Whitney Young Jr. is appointed executive director of the National Urban League
1962: James Meredith integrates Ole Miss campus
1963: 'Letters from a Birmingham Jail' published
1964: Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party established
1965: Malcolm X assassinated
1966: Stokely Carmichael promotes 'Black power'
1967: Loving v. Virginia strikes down interracial marriage ban in Virginia
1968: 'Julia,' starring Diahann Carroll, hits TV screens
1969: UNC food workers go on strike
1970: Gail Fisher wins a Primetime Emmy
1971: Congressional Black Caucus is formed
1972: Shirley Chisholm runs for president
1973: Combahee River Collective is created
1974: Henry ‘Hank’ Aaron hits his 715th home run
1975: John Hope Franklin is selected as president of the Organization of American Historians
1976: Barbara Jordan delivers keynote address at Democratic National Convention
1977: Andrew Jackson Young Jr. becomes ambassador to the United Nations
1978: Muhammad Ali wins heavyweight boxing title for the third time
1979: Assata Shakur goes on the run
1980: Robert L. Johnson launches BET
1981: Mumia Abu-Jamal is arrested
1982: Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' is released
1983: Vanessa Williams is crowned Miss America
1984: Jesse Jackson runs for president
1985: MOVE Black Liberation House is bombed
1986: Oprah Winfrey launches her talk show
1987: Dr. Ben Carson separates conjoined twins
1988: The film 'Mississippi Burning' is released
1989: Colin Powell becomes chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
1990: Lawrence Douglas Wilder becomes first elected African American governor
1991: Julie Dash's 'Daughters of the Dust' is released
1992: Rodney King beating ignites the L.A. Riots
1993: Toni Morrison wins Nobel Prize for 'Beloved'
1994: Nas' debut album 'Illmatic' is released
1995: Million Man March is held in Washington D.C.
1996: 'Moesha' premieres
1997: Tiger Woods wins his first major
1998: 'The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer' is canceled after the first episode
1999: Serena Williams wins U.S. Open
2000: Venus Williams wins Women's Singles at Wimbledon
2001: The Rev. Wilton D. Gregory becomes president of United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
2002: Halle Berry wins Academy Award for 'Monster's Ball'
2003: Dennis W. Archer becomes the president of the American Bar Association
2004: Phylicia Rashād wins a Tony for Best Lead Actress in a play
2005: Condoleezza Rice becomes U.S. secretary of state
2006: Soulja Boy records 'Crank That'l
2007: Barbara Hillary goes to the North Pole
2008: Barack Obama becomes president of the United States
2009: Disney's first Black princess premieres
2010: Dustin Byfuglien wins Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks
2011: Charles E. Samuels Jr. becomes director of Federal Bureau of Prisons
2012: Fred Luter Jr. is elected the president of the Southern Baptist Convention
2013: Cheryl Boone Isaacs is elected president of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
2014: Ava DuVernay earns a Golden Globe nomination
2015: Bree Newsome brings down the flag
2016: Carla Hayden becomes librarian of Congress
2017: Tiffany Haddish hosts ‘Saturday Night Live’
2018: Stacey Abrams runs for governor of Georgia
2019: ‘Black Panther’ produces two milestones
2020: Black Lives Matter/George Floyd Protests
2021: Kamala Harris sworn in as VP
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