Portland, OR

High school students trade Black classmates in Snapchat “Slave group”

Amy Christie

A high school district just outside Portland, Oregon, is handling a very serious matter. One student is believed to have taken part in a racist Snapchat group called “Slave Trade.”

All group participants are teens living around the U.S. and the language used in the chats and posts is full of racist slurs while the members pretend to auction Black classmates, according to Insider.

What are the details?

The Newberg High School's principal sent out a letter to all parents concerning the incident. At the same time, Oregon state representatives have tied the disturbing discovery to the district’s push to ban all Black Lives Matter and Pride flags from their classrooms.

Several photos and posts on Instagram pointed to the Newberg High School student who allegedly took part in the group chat. The teenager, whose identity has not been released, acknowledged his participation and added that it happened two years ago.

In the photos, the student was showing two of his Black classmates to the chat members and the caption said “$100 each.” Another chat member offered to “take them for 150 as pair."

Other photos of Black teenagers were uploaded in the chat and many members used racist language to refer to them, some even making death threats.

Tami Erion, the high school principal, revealed that one student was in the group. He called the situation "very serious and inappropriate" while admitting that the community continues to have difficulty with matters such as "diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging."

“Racist and bullying behavior has no place in our schools or community,” the superintendent of Newberg Public Schools Dr. Joe Morelock wrote after the incident came to light.
“Incidents like this are exactly what makes Black students feel like their lives don't matter,” Oregon state representatives — the House Majority Leader and Education House Committee Chair — stated about the Snapchat issue.

“It makes me weep to ever think about someone putting a photo of my precious daughter up on something so abhorrent. It makes my heart break to see the faces of the young people who were put up in that group chat. And please do not ever tell me that racism isn't alive and well in our country,” a parent of a Black daughter who goes to the high school wrote.

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Amy Christie is a passionate writer and journalist, always striving to bring out the positive and create meaningful connections.

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