A Beverly Hills High School student’s racist Snapchat picture of Santa Monica High School cheerleaders has drawn criticism from a parent who feels the schools aren’t doing enough to quell racial tensions.
“It’s something that people need to talk about and know,” Sharone Blades, mother of a Santa Monica High school senior, says. “It’s something that’s been brewing and we don’t to have to subject our kids to this kind of behavior over a basketball game. This is a hate crime.”
The Beverly Hills High student took a picture of Samohi cheerleaders during a basketball game between the opposing schools, a rivalry that has been tense over the years (most recently, a fight occurred between the two schools in 2015). The photo contained a caption with the word “monkeys.”
The photo went viral, reaching students from Samohi. Sharone Blades said the picture upset her daughter, who is part of the Black Student Union.
“Next time, it could be worse,” Blades added. “Someone could get hurt over this. I feel like an apology from the student and school is the least they can do.”
Blades says she’s reached out to Beverly Hills High for answers to no avail. She says Santa Monica High’s principal said he “couldn’t force an apology.”
Both the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) and Beverly Hills Unified released statements yesterday pertaining to the incident,
“Beverly Hills High School has zero tolerance for derogatory speech, offensive social behavior or racial comments. There are significant consequences and disciplinary measures for students who exhibit inappropriate behavior of this nature,” said the statement from that district.
Blades feels the responses aren’t adequate.
“I feel its bulls–t. There’s no proof any action is being taken against the student. There are racial incidents that happened (between the schools) in 2015. This has been going on for a while. If legal action is being taken, why don’t we know about it? I want to know this situation is being handled.”
In an email to the Daily Press, SMMUSD Community and Public Relations Officer Gail Pinsker said SMMUSD has been in contact with Beverly Hills Unified and “we understand that appropriate discipline has been given to this student.”
Pinsker went on to add the previous fight between the schools in 2015 wasn’t racially motivated but had more to do with “inappropriate neighboring high school-rivalry-motivated activities”