Yuba City, Calif. – Here are the real-life consequences for students participating in a prank video showing students auctioning fake slaves at a high school,,
The school’s varsity football season was forfeited as too many players were suspended to continue the team’s season.
In addition, students and school leaders are directly facing the hurt the video has caused to the community.
The video shows white students at River Valley High School “auctioning” black students in a football locker room.
Monday Night, Greater Sacramento NAACP ChapterAfter the viral video was posted on Tiktok.
Three football players from River Valley High School, who took part in the video, said they regret their actions and have learned a hard lesson.
“I didn’t want to do it, but looking back, I wish I had done more to stop it,” said Adrian, a sophomore. “When the video was made, I didn’t feel good about it and I froze. I wanted to finish it so I could practice.”
River Valley students Adrian, Marcos and Alex admitted to participating in the video along with several other team members, though not voluntarily at first.
The NAACP and the students’ parents asked CBS Sacramento to identify only those students who opted to come forward by their first names.
“Part of me knew it was wrong when it was happening and I didn’t have the courage to stop myself or my teammates and wish I had,” said Marcos, a junior. “I’m here today because I want people to know that I’m sorry. I apologize to anyone I’ve hurt or offended.”
CBS Sacramento is not showing disturbing video showing black teens as slaves in their underwear.
Greater Sacramento NAACP President Betty Williams saw the video and called it shocking.
“They were being auctioned off by white students and had a noose or belt around their necks to indicate they had or would be hung,” Williams said.
All three students described giving under peer pressure.
“They needed someone else to be in the video and being the only black person in the locker room they all turned to me. I made it clear I didn’t want to do that and tried to leave but wasn’t able to, “Alex, a senior said.
All three players have been suspended for three days. His parents say that he was fired from the football team.
“I’m sad that the school moved so quickly to punish us instead of taking our time to understand the situation better,” Adrian said.
Williams says that in conversation with the district on Monday, he asked why some of the white students who participated in the filming of the video were allegedly given lighter punishments than some of their black classmates who were in the video.
Williams said, “We do not believe that the approach of prioritizing punishment over education was the most prudent. We also believe that punishment was not equitable in their delivery.”
Her call to action is bigger than just River Valley High School. She says this type of systemic racism is often hidden in plain sight.
This video and the result are a striking example of the often silent problem.
“Every district is responsible for making a change,” Williams said.
The three students who came forward to apologize have promised to learn from it and set an example.
“This video was damaging to the entire black community, which relies on people like me, who rely on people like me to stand up against these mistakes, not participate in them,” Alex said.
“I hope that if I see this happening in the future, I will have the courage to stop something like this,” Marcos said.
CBS Sacramento did not receive a response Monday from Yuba City Unified School District leaders when asked for comment about how the district is working with the NAACP to drive change at River Valley High School.
Williams told TODAY that she has been heard so far in these ongoing conversations that are meant to ensure that there is accountability within River Valley leadership.
She advocates for fostering cultures of inclusion, adding more black teachers and staff members for greater representation, teaching more comprehensive lessons on black history, and continuing these important conversations.
“We want to change the culture and atmosphere of the school,” Williams said.
In light of other recent racially charged incidents at schools outside River Valley, the Greater Sacramento NAACP is seeking information about any discriminatory incidents occurring in school districts throughout the region so they can track when they And when is it happening? If necessary, they plan to include a national chapter of the NAACP.
Complaints can be submitted in the online chapter.