*A California school official is now on paid administrative leave after a video surfaced in which he can clearly be heard saying “I just don’t like the black kids.”
Who wants to bet after he’s home for a few days he’ll make a statement saying, “My comments were taken out of context.”
Joe DiFilippo, vice principal at Scandinavian Middle School in Fresno, California, was recorded by a student outside the school cafeteria, district spokesman Jed Chernabaeff told the Fresno Bee.
The full clip, which can be seen below, was posted on YouTube on Friday and shows a man identified as DiFilippo leaning against a pole while several kids speak, most of them off camera.
“Who at this school do you not like?” asks one of the off-camera students. Kids continue to talk. And one of them says something like “me… all of us, all of us.”
After about 10 seconds, DiFilippo, wearing shades and leaning casually against a pole responds, “I just don’t like the black kids.”
The clip ends suddenly. A news reporter states it’s not clear if he was attempting to make a joke. If he was, parents aren’t laughing.
“That’s not a joke,” Latricia Medley, an African American woman who has a child in the school, told ABC 30. “That’s not a very funny joke.”
Thing is, reports are saying things like, “Its not clear what context the comment was made in. But for the life of me, I can’t think of an acceptable context for a school official who oversees students, many of them black, to say such a thing in.
Medley told the station that she had spoken to DiFilippo in the past and never got the sense that he was racist. Now, however, she wants him fired.
She’s not alone.
“If he said it, he needs to be fired,” Ann Frank, who also has a child in the school, told The Fresno Bee.
Medley makes a good point at the end of the news report. How can a child be overseen by someone who doesn’t like him or her? And in this case, it would be at least more understandable if it was the result of something the child did (i.e. hurt another child; But because of the child’s skin color?
Some African-American students told the paper they felt targeted by DiFilippo because of their skin color.
Would it surprise you if those same students’ reports were not taken seriously prior to this clear evidence?
The district told the media that DiFilippo will be on paid administrative leave while the incident is investigated.
According to Transparent California, DiFilippo earns $87,449.44 per year in salary and benefits.
Scandinavian Middle School has a 3 out of 10 rating on GreatSchools.com. The school also has an Academic Performance Index score of 684 out of 1,000.
The fact that this man would say such a thing ON CAMERA goes to show that having good sense was obviously not one of the requirements of his job.
Watch him in action in the video below.