High School softball coach calls black students' hair "nappy and nasty’
Questions have risen over where Richland High School and the Birdville school district of Texas stand on racial remarks made against black students. Softball coach Brenda Jacobson is accused of making negative remarks about various black students’ hair, skin and culture.
Star-Telegram reports that Jacobson told player Kenzie Wilson that she wouldn’t do a drill “because there is water on the ground and black people don’t like water.” In April, Jacobson reportedly called a player’s hair ‘nappy and nasty.’ Other comments included telling black players that “the sun is more attracted to you because you’re black” and “See, everyone is white on the inside” after a player cut her leg sliding into base.
The Richland coach was reprimanded for racially-insensitive remarks; however, questions over the severity have risen. In fact, the school’s principal didn’t acknowledge the claims as fact, arguing that the coach “may have made inappropriate comments to students based on race or skin color.” Jacobson was not suspended or fired and was only instructed to “adhere to professional communication.”
The allegations against Jacobson have lead to further discussion of deeply-rooted racism within the high school. Richland High School’s current mascot, “the Rebels” is a gesture to Confederate soldiers during the civil war. Over the weekend, more than 100 community members held a rally in support for the Richland High School’s mascot, created a Facebook support page and partnered with the Johnny Reb’s and Dixie Belle student groups. Unfortunately, support has only grown after the softball allegations hit news waves.
The racial comments and newfound support for negativity has proven to be too much for many black students. “I felt like it was enough and I shouldn’t be treated like that anymore, “ says student Kenzie WIlson in a WFAA interview. “There’s a difference in getting on a kid to get them to perform and just belittling the kid because of what their nationality is,” said her father Kenneth Wilson. “There is no way you say what you did to my daughter with witnesses, and you keep your job.”
Clearly unsatisfied with the district’s response to the racial comments, the Wilsons have moved out of the school district and don’t plan to return. Many parents and school officials have reached out to the superintendent and are expected to present a petition at an upcoming school board meeting.
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