A Texas high school basketball coach is on administrative leave after black parents complained that he had given their children racist nicknames.
Chidi Ogbuta told WFAA that Allen High School coach Clay Jackson repeatedly referred to her daughter as “Buckwheat.”
“Seeing such an ugly, vicious remark from an educator who is supposed to be a role model… who knows better,” she explained. “What Mr. Jackson did to my daughter, I regard it as racial bullying.”
“When he was going over the play he wrote it down on the board,” Ogbuta added.
She said that fellow teammates laughed at the name, and it was until later that her daughter discovered that Buckwheat was an iconic member of the Little Rascals on Our Gang, a series of short films in the 1930s and 1940s.
According to Ogbuta, Jackson apologized, and said that he had no idea that “Buckwheat” was a racial nickname. But she described the apology as “insincere.”
Two other black families also complained to WFAA about the coach.
Lauren Jones said that he had called her daughter “Gimpy,” even though her daughter had asked to be called by her name.
“She’s had this conversation with the coach. She’s reminded the coach what her first name and her last name was,” Jones noted.
In a statement on Tuesday, Allen ISD said that Jackson had been placed on administrative leave.
“Allen ISD has high expectations that employees treat all students with respect and the district will take appropriate action based on the employee standards of conduct,” the statement said.
But Ogbuta worried that the damage was already done.
“My daughter doesn’t want to play basketball anymore… a game that she loves,” she remarked.
Watch the video below from WFAA, broadcast Dec. 11, 2014.