A video posted to social media of Antelope Valley high school students applying dark face paint and making racial slurs has prompted an investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
“Lancaster Sheriff’s Station diligently works hand in hand with the staff and administration at all of our Antelope Valley Union High School District schools, and although this incident took place off campus, we take all matters regarding our students very seriously,” Ali Villalobos, a public information officer for the department’s Lancaster station, said in a statement. “We thank our community, parents, faculty and residents for bringing important matter such as this to our attention.”
In the Snapchat video, first reported by ABC 7 Eyewitness News, one student is shown applying the face paint to another student’s face.
“A white” N-word, the student filming says as she zooms in, focusing on the student whose face is being painted.
“Ooga booga,” N-word, another student says.
“Ooga booga,” the student filming replies, laughing.
The students reportedly attend Quartz Hill High School and Lancaster High.
Despite the racist nature of blackface, videos of white people, especially high school and college students, participating in the act continue to populate the internet.
A few weeks ago, a video posted to Facebook showed a 14-year-old girl in Fresno wearing blackface and saying the N-word.
Last May, images surfaced of a white member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo at a party wearing blackface. Afterward, minority students spoke out about not feeling welcome at the school.
In response to the incident this week, the Antelope Valley Union High School District said on its Facebook page that school officials have been made aware of the “video showing a group of teenagers exhibiting deeply offensive and inexcusable racist behavior.”
“This runs counter to the district’s core values of integrity, respect for the individual, diversity and community,” the district said in its statement. “We are working on identifying those in the video, while including our law enforcement partners, and will take action as deemed appropriate. We strive to provide a culture of inclusivity and kindness. We ask all parents, students and community members to share our commitment to compassionate and kind conduct both on and off campus.”
The Sheriff’s Department’s investigation is ongoing.
City News Service contributed to this report.