Newberg High's 'slave trade' Snapchat group auctioning Black students investigated
A Snapchat group called "Slave Trade" is being investigated by the Newberg School District near Portland, Oregon after the chat included racial slurs, homophobic comments as well as the hypothetical sale of Black students. One of the members of the group is reportedly a student at the Newberg High School.
In April, MEAWW had reported on a remarkably similar case in a Texas school in the Aledo Independent School District, where some students "sold" their Black classmates for between $1 and $100 in an online 'slave-trading game' on Snapchat. The same month, we also reported how a Texas teacher was suspended for 'staging' a photo with her foot on an 11-year-old Black student's neck.
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According to KOIN, screenshots of the chat were shared by a "concerned student" at Newberg High School. Reporter Ryan Clarke took to Twitter to share the screenshots that included remarks such as "they like picking cotton” and “all blacks should die let’s have another holocaust." One person in the group also attempted to hypothetically purchase two Black students, while another bidder wrote, “I’ll take them for 150 as the pair.”
Deleted earlier Tweets on this subject to clarify a few details.— Ryan Clarke (@RyanTClarke) September 14, 2021
A group of students at Newberg High School allegedly created a Snapchat group called “slave trade” where they joke about auctioning off Black classmates as slaves.
(TW: Racism/homophobia. Names/faces are blocked.) pic.twitter.com/xiC2Vycn7E
At least one student from Newberg High School was involved in the group and is currently being investigated, Principal Tami Erion wrote in a letter to members of the high school’s community. She reportedly described the incident as “serious and inappropriate." The letter stated that the student in question “used photos of other Newberg High School students in the group. Attached to the photos were derogatory comments that included racial and homophobic slurs... This chat originated in Michigan in late 2020, but our administrative team was just made aware of the group and our student’s participation late Friday.”
This comes after the Newberg school board reportedly banned “political symbols" on campus, including Black Lives Matter signs and Pride flags in a 4-3 vote. Heidi Schneiter Pender, whose Black daughter attends the high school, wrote about the group chat in an emotional Facebook post on September 13 “I didn’t cry Friday night when I found out about there being a social media group chat titled 'Slave Trade' involving students from my daughter’s high school," she began. "The Slave Trade involved highlighting black students in the school and then bidding on them as slaves according to how much value they bring as a slave. I didn’t cry when I saw the names and faces of black students I dearly love. I felt sick to my stomach, I prayed, I was mad. I talked to Katia about what was happening so she wouldn’t be blindsided when she went to school this morning."
“I know the students involved in the online slave trade do not represent all of Newberg students,” Pender continued. “But it makes me weep to ever think about someone putting a photo of my precious daughter up on something so abhorrent. It makes my heart break to see the faces of the young people who were put up in that group chat. And please do not ever tell me again that racism isn’t alive and well in our country.”
Pender spoke to KGW News about the incident. “For my daughter, who is Black, it’s confusing for her why people would be against saying her life matters,” she told the outlet. “It’s a straight line for her.”