DeKalb mother stunned by racist video shown in French class

The NAACP is now getting involved

DeKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- A Dekalb County mother said she was stunned after a film shown to her daughter's classroom contained what she called racist, sexist and violent images.

Nwandi Lawson, a mother of two, said that as a time filler her daughter's French class was shown a YouTube video filled with those images.

Now, even the DeKalb County chapter of the NAACP is getting involved.

For some, the 2003 film which translates in English to “The Triplettes of Belleville” may be hard to watch.

“It really appears to be a black woman, ravaged by white men, stripped then humiliated and she runs off stage,” Lawson said. “I can't imagine this has any role in a French class.”

But it did in the classroom at the DeKalb County School of the Arts.  When Lawson's daughter took out the phone to record it, she got it in trouble.

“She explained, ‘I was trying to record because they were showing this very racist video in class’,” Lawson said.

The film begins with three obese women getting out of a limo on a red carpet. The first two women can be seen violently dragging two men by their hands.

The angle changes to the third woman. With a man wedged in her buttocks.

As the video plays, a black woman walks out on stage with bare breasts with nothing more than bananas covering her as she dances. The white men in the audience turn into monkeys, strip her. Embarrassed, she runs off stage.

“I was floored,” Lawson said.

She reached out to her daughter's teacher and said his response was surprising.

“’I’m sorry, I didn't realize the images were in this video’ and that was about it,” Lawson said.  

So, she went to the principal.  

“What has the school provided to him to help the school to be able to process what they’d just witnessed,” she said. “And they didn't have a response for that.”

Now Lawson wants the school system to provide sensitivity training for all teachers and staff.

“Hopefully, as a result of this, the school and the district, in general, will begin to get more experience so they can respond more swiftly to things like this,” she said.

After going to the district, Dekalb County Schools released this statement a week later:

“The district has conducted an investigation and it has quickly and appropriately handled all personnel elements associated with this matter.”

A spokesperson also said that it's partnering with agencies to ensure something like that won’t happen again.

The NAACP said it plans to hold the school system to task.

© 2017 WXIA-TV


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