A school employee with the Dallas Independent School District has been placed on administrative leave after cellphone video surfaced that captured the woman making a threat against Hispanic students at Roosevelt High School.
Barely 10 seconds, it’s a brief video. During the video, a woman is identified as a Roosevelt High School employee and can be heard threatening Hispanic students by saying, “If you're here illegally, we can call immigration."
A DISD spokesperson issued the following written response:
“Dallas ISD is committed to providing safe and welcoming environments in educating all students. Yesterday, we were made aware of a social media post involving an employee who allegedly made questionable comments about immigration. The individual was placed on administrative leave. Dallas ISD schools embrace the diversity of our students and families and maintains its resolution to be welcoming and protective to the fullest extent of the law.”
Community activist Rene Martinez, with The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), offered his response, too.
"That particular employee shared a feeling that I think is out there in the community right now," he said.
The student population in all of Dallas ISD is approximately 70 percent Hispanic. An estimated 2,000 are “dreamers," children of illegal immigrants who are in the DACA program that the Trump administration has threatened to end, unless Congress comes up with a solution.
"So, it's a climate that we're living under and the rhetoric that we're living under," Martinez said. "So it's totally unacceptable."
“They were pretty upset; like, they were pretty mad,” said Jamiya Dawson, a senior, of her classmate who recorded the comment.
Roosevelt is split almost 50-50 Hispanic and African American. And Dawson, an African American student, said she was shocked that an African American employee would make the comment.
"Growing up as a minority she knows what type of things that we face,” Dawson said. “So why would she say something like that to another minority, a student at that?"
We don't know the context of the situation that led to the comment. We only have those few seconds of audio published by a student and sent to a Facebook group called Pleasant Grove Dallas Texas Latino Media.
"But at the same time there is no excuse for this type of behavior at our schools, especially coming from a person of authority over our students,” said David Villalobos, of the Texas Organizing Project.
"You wouldn't expect somebody that's supposed to be an example to us to say those types of things," Dawson added. "You just wouldn't."