A vice principal at a Fresno middle school was placed on leave after he was filmed saying he doesn’t “like the black kids.”
The 18-second video shows Joe DiFilippo, who’s been working at Scandinavian Middle School for nearly five years, leaning against a pole outside the cafeteria next to a student.
Another student, who did not appear on video, asks, “Mr. DiFilippo, who at this school do you not like?” After a few students began talking, he says, “I just don’t like the black kids.”
After reviewing the video, the Fresno Unified School District placed DiFilippo on paid administrative leave Monday, district spokesman Jedidiah Chernabaeff said. DiFilippo has been working for the district for 18 years.
Meanwhile, the district has hired an outside agency to investigate the vice principal’s comments.
“What is depicted in the 18-second video clip is disappointing and doesn't meet our expectations,” the district said in a statement. “This is a very serious matter that is currently under investigation.”
A relative of the student, who filmed DiFilippo last week, posted the video and its comments to YouTube last Friday under the heading: “Scandinavian Vice Principal caught on camera by my nephew talking to black students and telling them he does not like black kids.”
District officials were made aware of the video later that day after a parent tipped off administrators at the middle school, he said.
“Fresno Unified is among the most diverse school districts in the nation and takes great pride in celebrating its diversity while providing a positive learning environment for all students and staff,” the district said
The campus is one of 17 middle schools in the district. Scandinavian Middle School has 755 students, of which 84 are black.
DiFilippo's comment have caused an uproar in the community, according to the Fresno Bee. Former students and parents gathered Tuesday outside the campus to express their concerns about DiFilippo.
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