Texas students sold Black classmates for between $1 and $100 in online 'slave-trading game' on Snapchat

A student from the Aledo Independent School District in Texas posted a screen capture of the game on Snapchat. It shows students using a chat labeled "N***** Auction" to "trade" students of color.

                            Texas students sold Black classmates for between $1 and $100 in online 'slave-trading game' on Snapchat
Aledo Independent School District in Texas has more than 6,400 students (Twitter)

Students at a Texas school district reportedly engaged in an online "slave-trading game" and pretended to auction off classmates based on race. As per reports, a student from the Aledo Independent School District posted a screen capture of the game on Snapchat. It shows students using a chat labeled "N***** Auction" to "trade" students of color.

Civil rights lawyer S Lee Merritt shared a screenshot of the group on Twitter, writing, "White students from @AledoISD hosted a slave auction on Snapchat where they sold black classmates for between $1-$100. The racism pouring into our politics, our public safety, our national security is being incubated in our schools."


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A student posted "$1 for Chris" and "would be better if his hair wasn't so bad," on the group, as seen in the photo. Aledo school Superintendent Susan Bohn said district officials learned, more than two weeks ago, about students from the Daniel Ninth Grade Campus cyberbullying other students based on their race.

Snapchat screenshot that shows the group of students engaging in 'slave-trade' auctions (Twitter/MeritLaw)

The district didn’t specify what discipline has been dealt out to the students, but Bohn said in a statement that district officials have spoken with all the students involved and their parents.

"The Aledo ISD immediately engaged in conversations and communication with students and the student group that was involved, as well as their parents, and made it clear that statements and conduct that targets a student because of his or her race is not only prohibited but also has a profound impact on the victims," the school district said.

Mercedes Mayer, the school district's director of communications, said, "There were disciplinary actions taken in accordance with our policy and the Student Code of Conduct,” but did not specify how many students were punished or what disciplinary actions were taken.

A protester demonstrates against racism and police brutality through the streets on July 3, 2020, in St Louis, Missouri (Getty Images)

Parents furious about school's response

Parents from the school district, however, said that not enough has been done after an online game was discovered. "It makes me sick from the standpoint, 'Who do they think they are? What gives them the right to think they can do that to someone else?'" said Mark Grubbs, a father of three former Aledo ISD students. "Calling it cyberbullying rather than calling it racism... that is the piece that really gets under my skin.”

Grubbs also said the problem's bigger than this one instance. He reportedly pulled his three kids from the district. "A lot of racism. My son being called out of his name and what not and it got to the point he didn't mind fighting and that didn't sit right with me and my wife," he said. "My son was never a fighter."

"It softens the blow for those that may be uncomfortable with the conversation of racism," said Amber Leeper, a former middle school teacher who saw screenshots of the game. "I was not shocked honestly because of the community we live in," Aledo ISD parent Ella Bullock said. "I'm still a bit disappointed with the email, it stops short of calling it hate speech," she added, saying major changes need to happen regarding racism.

A man holds a Black Lives Matter sign as a police car burns during a protest on May 29, 2020, in Atlanta, Georgia (Getty Images)

Tony Crawford, a Parker County activist, said: "I would say the community itself needs to sit down and address this. At our schools. At our learning facilities. And if they’re not going to learn the right way there, where are they going to learn at? And there’s a right way to go about your relationships with Black people without demeaning them and embarrassing them for a laugh."

Parents are already planning to show up in force at the Aledo school board meeting the coming Monday, April 19, to demand a stronger plan to address racism.

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