Parents are firing back after the Aledo Independent School District labeled an online slave trading gamed led by students as "cyberbullying" and not "racism." The controversy surrounding the north Texas school district revolves around an online game created by students where students "trade" students of color for digital currency. For example, one student could be "worth" $100 because other students like them, but another student could be "worth" $1 if other students don't like their hairstyle. Participating students called the online activity "Slave Trade" or "N" Farm, Understandably, parents, teachers and students of color were outraged.
"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?,'" former Aledo Independent School District parent Mark Grubbs told NBC DFW.
After one student informed school officials about the game, district leaders sent a letter home to parents. In the letter, district leaders informed parents that the students involved were punished, but their actions were referred to as "cyberbullying" and not "racism." The characterization of what had taken place made some parents question if school officials fully understood the seriousness of what took place.
"Calling it cyberbullying rather than calling it racism... that is the piece that really gets under my skin," Grubbs explained.
"It softens the blow for those that may be uncomfortable with the conversation of racism," former middle school teacher Amber Leeper added.
Backlash from parents and educators pressured school leaders into issuing yet another statement regarding the matter.
"I'm still a bit disappointed with the email, it stops short of calling it hate speech," Aledo Independent School District parent Ella Bullock said.
Unfortunately, this is not a new trend within the Aledo Independent School District. Grubbs told NBC DFW that he pulled his three kids out of the school district after his son was repeatedly called out of his name.
"I was not shocked honestly because of the community we live in," Bullock added.
Photo Credit: Getty Images