Frisco Centennial High School Assistant Coach Resigns Amid Accusations Of Racist Remarks.
Todd Campbell, an assistant football coach at Frisco Centennial High School in Texas, resigned this week amid accusations of racist remarks towards black and Latino students. The Dallas Morning News reports students, players and parents had expressed concerns about him since April, and filed their formal complaints in October.
Students said coach Todd Campbell also stereotyped black students by claiming that they must run fast because they were eating fried chicken or drinking Kool-Aid. He would also say “esé,” a Spanish slang for “homeboy,” around Latino students and use the term “cracker,” according to documents released to The Dallas Morning News on Tuesday under an open records request.
A student also told school officials that on one occasion, the assistant coach tried to get a talkative group to quiet down with this appalling threat:
“You need to be quiet. You see that rope over there, you see that tree back there, I’m going to hang you in that tree. I’m going to hang you by your toes.”
The last thing any black teenager growing up in the south needs to hear is an authority figure threatening to hang him from a tree by any bodily part. To add insult to injury, the coach allegedly had a group of black students pose for a photo, then compared it to a picture of New Edition, an R&B group from the 1980s.
Of course, Todd Campbell very wisely refuses to talk to the press. If he’d only kept his lips zipped from the get go, none of this would have ever happened.
During the school district’s investigation, he admitted making a comment about a black student’s “Malcolm X glasses” but called all the other alleged racist remarks “false accusations.” School district officials told reporters the investigation was completed. Yet the official findings have not yet been released, and no one at Frisco Centennial has been disciplined unless having Campbell voluntarily resign counts as “discipline.” Meanwhile, former Head Coach Ronny Mullins — who has since moved on to another school — wrote that he believed he and Principal Randy Spain, had handled things the right way.
“An apology was made by the coach in regard to saying something that offended the athlete (and the apology was accepted); I appropriately handled [the issue] with the coach in our separate meeting as well.”
But that’s just one apology and one football player. What about all the other remarks? Parents, students and others in the Frisco Centennial community have voiced concerns that the lack of diversity among the school’s staff may have contributed to this disturbing situation. Only one coach, one assistant principal, and four percent of the teachers are black, even though the school is 9 percent black (the rest of the students are 60 percent white, 16 percent Hispanic, 11 percent Asian or Pacific Islander, 1 percent American Indian, and 3 percent mixed).[contentblock id=7 img=gcb.png]
District spokeswoman Shana Wortham blandly states:
“We are continually looking for ways to improve and keep staff current on processes and best practices. Many of these efforts are part of our strategic planning effort and are not related to any particular investigation.”
Which basically means Frisco Centennial and the rest of the school district are unlikely to do anything about this problem.
It’s hard to believe that we are now living in the 21st century and our nation’s high schools are still plagued with rampant racism. In May, the founder and principal of TNT Academy in Stone Mountain, GA came under fire for crying out, “Look! All the black people are leaving!” during a botched graduation ceremony. And in case you think that sort of thing only happens in the Deep South, a group of white students from an elite high school in supposedly liberal San Francisco got busted for having a “wigger” theme party in January after uploading photos of themselves dressed like hip hop artists and making gang signs to social media.