A Las Vegas school board member had to walk back offensive comments and apologize after referring to Black students as “colored.”
Danielle Ford, a trustee of Nevada’s Clark County school district was addressing racist threats lodged at students when she made the slur, Fox 5 reports. The district had faced a number of racist threats at Arbor View High School. Two students were arrested for making racist threats on social media and Ford was addressing how to make it safer for students in the district.
“The other one is the safety of colored students, in general… These are two different conversations,” Ford said which outraged parents and community members.
On Thursday, she posted a video apologizing for using the offensive word.
“I would like to say a few things regarding a comment I made at the school board meeting on April 11th,” Ford says in the video. “I used a word that I know is extremely hurtful to a lot of people. And for that, I am deeply sorry.”
Ford also took responsibility for the pain she caused.
“I have offended a very hurt and marginalized community, and I wish I could take it back,” the trustee said in her Facebook video.
“Words do hurt. And I understand the history and the painful significance around what I said. The school board sets the tone for the entire district. And I intend to use this mistake as an opportunity to improve my interactions, and to help other people to do the same.”
Las Vegas school board trustee Danielle Ford, you need to step down after that comment. If you’re still “working on your own implicit bias” then you need to do it… https://t.co/EWttj878Nu
— D’Artagnan J. Young (@Dartagnan1986) April 12, 2019
Some have called for Ford’s resignation.
The school board released a statement agreeing that Ford’s comment, which reads in part:
“We are disappointed in the hurtful terminology that Trustee Ford used last night when discussing racial tensions at one of our high schools. We understand the significance of that word and why the use of it is painful. The Board… adopted a policy requiring that all Trustees will complete implicit racial bias and cultural competency training as soon as possible.”