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Fairfax County NAACP Calls for Independent Investigation Into Message Indicating Racist Culture of Oakton HS Cheer Team

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From the Fairfax NAACP:

Fairfax County NAACP Calls for Independent Investigation Into Message Indicating Racist Culture of Oakton HS Cheer Team

The Branch Demands Immediate Action From FCPS To Ensure the Safety of Students and Address the Deep-Rooted Culture of Racism

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (May 17, 2023) — The Fairfax County NAACP has called for an independent outside investigation into an anonymous racist message sent to the Cheer Coach at Oakton High School (Vienna, VA) in mid-March by someone who claimed to speak “on behalf of many of the parents and students on this sensitive topic.”

The emailed message stated, “Many of us would not feel comfortable with another colored individual coaching cheerleading at Oakton. While this may be seen as racist or having a prejudice against certain races of people, the last two years have shown that this is just not something that has worked out. Our school and history of coaches have been predominantly white. Many of the girls were shocked to see another coach last season with such dark and strong features.”

Nearly two months have passed and FCPS is no closer to ascertaining the identity of the email’s author, and to date there has been no significant action taken to assure the safety of the athletes on the Cheer team. The ongoing communication between the Fairfax County NAACP’s Education Committee and FCPS staff has yielded ever more entrenched efforts to obfuscate and deflect blame, rather than to accept the reality of the situation and deal with it effectively. The more time that passes where children are subjected to a threat of unknown origin and unknown magnitude, the greater the danger to their physical and emotional well-being.

Therefore the Branch has asked for an independent outside investigation into the matter. In addition, considering the danger this email poses to current students, the failure of FCPS to act with urgency, and the long-standing culture of racism referenced in the email, the Fairfax County NAACP asks to be allowed to see the full results of the investigation.

As always, the Branch stands ready to work with FCPS to support all students in accessing an excellent education, and learning and thriving in peace.

About Fairfax County NAACP

The Fairfax County NAACP is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization whose mission is to achieve equity, political rights, and social inclusion by advancing policies and practices that expand human and civil rights, eliminate discrimination, and accelerate the well-being, educational and economic security of Black people and all people of color. More information can be found at fairfaxnaacp.org.

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