Wayland mother ‘disgusted’ with video of students using racial slurs, wearing dark face paint

Posted at 7:58 PM, Sep 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-26 23:11:52-04

WAYLAND, Mich. — As soon as Melissa Barber saw the video of a few Wayland High School students wearing dark face paint and using racial slurs, she was shocked.

“The video was disgusting,” Barber said in an interview with FOX 17. “It saddens me as a mother for my children to have to see that video.”

Barber has children at the high school who are mixed-raced: Caucasian and African American. She said her son saw the video over the weekend on social media and immediately confronted the people who posted it.

“It was not appropriate and it was not funny,” she said. “It wasn’t a joke to him.”

Barber said he it took so seriously that he told school administrators on Tuesday. They’ve since posted a statement on social media, saying:

Dear Parents, Students, and Community Members-

It has come to our attention that, over the weekend, some students who are enrolled in our high school engaged in behavior that is considered racially insensitive. We are currently investigating this unfortunate situation and gathering facts.  Wayland Union Schools in no way condones this behavior and it does not represent the positive values we strive to teach each day.  We will continue our work to educate the students involved in this situation, as well as our student body as a whole, on issues related to any kind of discrimination. Safety, security, respect, and tolerance are priorities we take seriously and during this time we must take action to protect any students who have been impacted by this situation. Please rest assured that this situation is being addressed and we will use this as a learning opportunity with our students.  

Norman L. Taylor


Taylor declined an interview with FOX 17.  However, Barber hopes that the school will incorporate diversity training and classes in its curriculum to tackle the racial issues there.

“I would definitely hope that the individuals have some kind of consequence for their actions, all of them,” Barber said. “I hope that everyone involved takes this seriously.”