A California vice principal is reportedly on leave after being caught on video during a confrontation with three Black teenage girls.
Fred Veenendaal, vice principal at Sunnyside High School in Fresno, is seen on the video talking on his cell phone to what appears to be police. Veenendaal then says he has "three Section 8 people here, ghetto girls." It is unclear how the confrontation started.
"Section 8" refers to a federal program that provides rental assistance to low-income families, the elderly, and disabled individuals.
The news was picked up by FOX26, which reported that the girls were Kyra Schrubb, 17, Bri'janae Lewis, 17, and a friend. They say they were just walking through the gated community to cut their walk in half.
"Kyra's mom tells FOX26 News that they have access to the gated community because they know somebody who lives there. She says her daughter and her friend take this shortcut to avoid walking the whole way around to the store. They say the shortcut usually saves them around 10 minutes," the local news outlet reported. "But this time, they took even longer when they spotted the man recording them. What hurts, they say, are the words he used."
“It was unnecessary. You didn't have to do all that, you didn’t have to racial profile for no reason. I feel so bad because like as a black woman, I should be able to walk...and just walk peacefully without, you know, being racist for no reason," Kyra said, according to the report.
The district also provided a statement to FOX26 in which it confirms that the vice principal is now on paid administrative leave.
"We are aware of the video circulating, and the district started an investigation into the matter early Monday. The labels used in the video do not align with the high standards we have for our Fresno Unified leaders and staff," the district reportedly said in its media statement. "We want to assure our families that having respectful, inclusive, and loving adults serving in our school is of the utmost importance to Sunnyside and our district as a whole."
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