LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Clark County School District Board of School Trustees released a statement Friday in response to an offensive word used by trustee Trustee Danielle Ford. Trustee Ford referred to black students using a derogatory word—setting off a firestorm of angry responses from an already hurt community.
In the statement, the Board of School Trustees said in part: “We are disappointed in the hurtful terminology that Trustee Danielle Ford used last night.” It went on to say, “All trustees will complete implicit racial bias and cultural competency training.”
The statement also called for everyone in the community’s right to feel valued and respected, which the group of students and parents did not feel when the word “colored” was used by an elected official. The community now calling for an uncomfortable, but necessary conversation on racial concerns and diversity.
Arbor View High School sophomore Genesis Compton is involved at her school. The Speech and Debate team member and track runner says she feels uncomfortable walking the halls of her Northwest Valley school—the same school where two students were arrested for making racist threats against black students on social media.
“It’s hard,” Compton expressed. “Especially because half of those kids in the pictures I knew, and I’m close friends with them.”
Thursday night, parents of students like Compton’s friends filled a CCSD boardroom. The already impassioned meeting was meant to address racial tensions within Clark County schools, but quickly turned heated when after Trustee Danielle Ford used the historically racially charged term.
“There’s two different problems we’re dealing with right now,” Trustee Ford said. “One is our lack of safety protocols and the other one is safety of ‘colored’ students in general.”
Trustee Ford apologized after her word choice was brought to her attention by a fellow trustee.
The CCSD Board of School Trustees continued to acknowledge its disappointment in its statement, saying, “We understand the significance of that word and why the use of it is painful.:
Parents shared that Ford’s public comment reversed any steps forward the District had made. One parent, who didn’t want to share her name, said, “It makes it seem like it’s not gonna go any further than here at the school. I don’t know if they’re gonna fix any of the issues.”
As for Arbor View High School sophomore Genesis Compton—left walking her halls in disappointment until things change at her school
“Those people are supposed to keep me safe and make me comfortable at school,” Compton said, in reference to all trustees.”To know that they’re making comments like that makes me upset, honestly.”