A Texas school district has disciplined students who it said were engaged in an online “slave-trading game” and pretending to auction off classmates based on race.
A student from Aledo Independent School District posted a screencapture of the game on Snapchat. It shows students using a chat labeled “Slave trade,” and a racial slur, to “trade” students of color.
One student posted: “$1 for Chris” and “would be better if his hair wasn’t so bad.”
Aledo ISD, which is southwest of Fort Worth, condemned the game and the students’ behavior.
The district said in a statement Monday that more than two weeks ago, it discovered students from the Daniel Ninth Grade Campus had been engaged in racial harassment and cyber bullying “and launched an immediate and thorough investigation that involved law enforcement.”
“The Aledo ISD immediately engaged in conversations and communication with students and the student group that was 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,” Aledo ISD said.
“There were disciplinary actions taken in accordance with our policy and the Student Code of Conduct,” Mercedes Mayer, director of communications at Aledo ISD, said in an email to NBC News.
Mayer did not specify how many students were punished or what disciplinary actions were taken.
Aledo ISD parent Ella Bullock told NBC DFW she was not surprised by the students’ behavior. “I was not shocked honestly because of the community we live in,” she said.
The district, which says it enrolls a total of 6,400 students, said in its statement that it wants students of color to feel loved and supported.
“There is no room for racism or hatred in the Aledo ISD, period,” it said.