2 Martin High students disciplined over racial slur

ARLINGTON -- Two Martin High School students have been disciplined for a racial slur written on the rear window of a pickup parked at the school last week, Arlington school district officials said Monday.

The offending message, "Red N Proud" followed by words that professed hatred toward African-Americans, was removed soon after people began calling to complain, said Amy Casas, a district spokeswoman.

The accused students were disciplined, said Casas, who declined to elaborate on how they were punished.

"Anytime something like this happens we want to send a clear message that this type of behavior will not be tolerated," Casas said.

Silk Littlejohn-Gamble, president of the Arlington chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said children take their cues from what adults do and say.

"You can't really blame the child, you have to blame the adults," said Littlejohn-Gamble, whose garage door was defaced by a racial slur in Arlington in December 2007. "We are afraid to really have a civil discussion about race in this country. But perhaps this was what that child heard at the dinner table. And what he heard at the dinner table was what he said at school."

Robert Rivera, the lone minority representative on the Arlington City Council, said there is no place for hatred in the city.

The slur follows a racially charged incident Sept. 30. A 63-year-old math teacher told a student to "Go back to Mexico" after he repeatedly interrupted a class indicating that he wanted a Spanish-language version of a form that was being distributed.

Shirley Bunn, who taught at Barnett Junior High, had faced termination until a hearing examiner recommended she instead be reassigned to another school.

Mitch Mitchell, 817-390-7752

Twitter: @stcrime