MIDLOTHIAN

A derogatory video created by several Midlothian High School students has gone viral on social media. District officials are currently investigating the situation.

On Monday, Midlothian ISD Superintendent Dr. Lane Ledbetter emailed a statement to parents regarding the offensive video that targeted students based on race.

Earlier that day, the Twitter handle @AllResistNews got a hold of the video, tweeted and then shared the campus information.

The account has about 75,000 followers.

“Within an hour, more than 3,000 people retweeted the video,” MISD Chief of Communications Karen Permetti stated. “The district was unable to find a contact number to reach the person or organization to communicate that the video had a minor and discuss the facts. Since no number could be located, we did Tweet them information.”

The video was originally found on YouTube with several students making derogatory and demeaning comments about others. The principal and superintendent stated this behavior would not be tolerated.

A post on the Facebook page Midlo Talk explained the content of the video as, “He is a Caucasian student who was video recorded saying the N word (not the slang N-word) over and over again! SMH!”

Permetti explained during the investigation that about five students were involved in creating the video. Also, the video was created off-campus during non-school hours. She also confirmed, “no district software was used that detected this video.”

Permetti said there were multiple areas that discipline could be enforced ranging from bullying to harassment. Bounded by federal education privacy laws, disciplinary actions cannot be released.

The video was initially reported around noon Friday, May 4 to the Midlothian High School Principal Gary Gates, who then notified parents of the situation by the end of the school day.

“Any offensive, demeaning and inappropriate words or statements made by a student, teacher or staff member is unacceptable and will face severe consequences,” Gates wrote in a parent letter on May 4.

He added, “While I am deeply saddened by the action of these students, they do not define the values of Midlothian High School or Midlothian ISD. We believe in celebrating the power of diversity where all students are given opportunities to reach their full potential.”

Additionally, the campus fielded hundreds of calls from people across the United States. Permetti mentioned the campus staff was exemplary and professional in handling the calls.

Around noon Monday, Ledbetter communicated to parents about the situation.

Toward the end of the statement, Ledbetter wrote, “It is with a heavy heart that this situation has taken place, and I am saddened by the actions of these students. These actions do not reflect what we, as a district or high school, stand for - we believe in celebrating the power of diversity where all students and staff are treated like family.”

 

Ashley Ford | @aford_news | 469-964-5023