Elite LA private school accused of ‘white favouritism’ as video surfaces showing students singing ‘racist’ rap

Online petition gathers pace as signatory asks: 'Is this what $40k worth of private education gets you?'

Aftab Ali
Student Editor
Friday 20 May 2016 12:29
Comments
The school's East Campus, pictured, in LA (Image via Brentwood School (Los Angeles)/Facebook)
The school's East Campus, pictured, in LA (Image via Brentwood School (Los Angeles)/Facebook)

An elite private school in the US has come under fire after a video surfaced online allegedly showing its pupils singing along to a “racist” song, with campaigners accusing the school of “white favouritism.”

The pupils from Brentwood School in Los Angeles were filmed repeatedly shouting the word “n***a” while rapping along to the A$AP Ferg song, ‘Dump Dump’, at what reports suggest is a boat party.

Just as the 26-second long clip begins, an introduction reads: “Welcome to Brentwood. Start curious. Stay curious. Go anywhere.”

Then, quoting the school’s core values - “trust, respect, responsibility, honesty, caring, community, and diversity” - it then reads: “3/120 kids in the 10th grade are black. 50% less than the 2014-2015 school year.”

The remainder of the clip shows a group of white students repeatedly singing the lyrics: “I f****ed your b***h, n****a, I f***ed your b***h. She suck my d**k, n***a, she suck my d**k,” and ends with the comment: Welcome to the world of LAs exclusive private schools.

Professional baseball player Barry Bonds, whose daughter attends the school - which charges around $37,725 a year (£25,900) in tuition fees - led the criticism of the video on Twitter this week.

The video clip: WARNING - Contains graphic language some may find offensive:

In a message on the site, he posted a link to the clip, and wrote: “I am sad that i had to see this at my daughters school. #Racism #Fixit #Suspension.”

Since the video emerged four days ago, it has received close to 100,000 hits on YouTube with opinion divided as to whether it is, in fact, racist or not.

While many have said it is offensive, others have said the teenagers were “just singing along to a song.”

A petition for the school to take action has since gathered hundreds of signatures, and has accused management of “failing to protect its students.”

It reads: “A group of almost exclusively white students had a party on a boat and decided to sing the n-word multiple times. Brentwood has done nothing other than offer to ‘talk to them’. If these kids weren’t in their socioeconomic position, of their racial heritage, or considered ‘assets’ to the community (based on social status and/or their parents wealth), consequences would be different.”

“Brentwood claims to value diversity and acceptance, but their lack of action demonstrates otherwise. this is just another example of their white favouritism.”

One signatory has asked: “Is this what $40k worth of private education gets you? I am extremely embarrassed my daughter is a current junior at this school and has been here since kindergarten. I can’t even speak. I blame the parents of these children.”

A former student who also added his signature to the petition, described how “this sort of behaviour shakes me to my core.” He added: “Incidents like these reveal the underlying entitlement that permeates throughout the school. I want to send my apologies and respect for Brentwood’s proponents for change and justice - keep fighting.”

Brentwood’s mission statement explains how the school inspires every student to “think critically and creatively, act ethically, and shape a future with meaning.”

Emphasising its values in a statement, the school said the lyrics in the video are “offensive and inconsistent with our core values.”

Further refuting the claims made by protesters, the school has said it is dealing with the impact of a video showing several students at a “non-school party,” adding: “We are investigating this insensitive behaviour, will address the situation directly, and will respond seriously.

“In addition, we will do more. We will reflect on our response as a school administration and identify what Brentwood School can do better in the future to help all of our students understand the harm that this type of conduct causes to themselves, to others, and to the community.

“This situation underscores the fact that nurturing a climate of mutual respect and inclusion at Brentwood is an ongoing process. We will use this as an opportunity to further authentic dialogue about diversity and what it means to each individual member of our school. Ultimately, this will further strengthen us as a community.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in