Louisiana High School Students Post Photo Mocking Slavery, Parents Speak Out

CECILIA, La. (KLFY) – A parent at Cecilia High School speaks out as a controversial photo of students circulates on social media. She says the photo is racially inappropriate and should not be tolerated.

The photo was taken inside a Cecile Haute changing room. An African American student is inside a caged locker. A white student stands outside, smiling. The caption for the photo reads: ‘My buddy got her a slave.’

“In this time of age with the political and racial climate, I was shocked. I was horrified when I first saw this photo,” said a parent, who wants to be called E. Winfrey Winfrey, who has two African American teenagers at Cecilia High, says the photo is racially intolerant.

“Even though my kids weren’t happy to see it, they weren’t as horrified as I was. I’m inclined to think maybe they’ve been desensitized to that,” Winfrey said. She says this is not the first time she has learned of racist incidents at school and fears it will become more common.

Frustrated, Winfrey voiced her concerns to Superintendent of St. Martin Al Blanchard Parish. “I let Mr. Blanchard know that I think the students were bold enough to do this and then post it on social media because they’re in an environment that fosters this,” Winfrey said. She says that although the administration said the photo was disturbing, it was suggested the teenagers were joking. This mom says the caption ‘Buddy made himself a slave’ shouldn’t be a joke.

“How do you caption something like that and make it playful and lighthearted?” she asked. “I want students and parents to wake up and realize this is unacceptable. We really shouldn’t have to deal with that these days. Our kids should know better,” Winfrey told News Ten. She says schools and parents should be proactive in preventing racist material, instead of being reactive.

“If you don’t tolerate it at home and consider it lighthearted banter at home, that sort of thing, your kids will bring it to school and it will become a reflection on you,” she added.

Superintendent Al Blanchard says they are aware of the photo and are investigating the incident. He says appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.

Jack C. Nugent