NAACP responds to racist incident at East Bay middle school

2 mins read

Last week, a student at Diable View Middle School gave out cotton balls on campus to mock Black History Month. But school district leaders didn’t know of the incident until this week. 

The racist incident at the Clayton middle school draws a response from the East County NAACP. For the organization, which is made up of parents, council members, and activists, one student being disciplined for a racist act is not enough. 

“You know, I have two Black children. They’ve been subject to bullying and I don’t know what to tell them,” Steve Rossi, a father said.

Raw emotion was visible from Rossi as he was consoled by one of his sons outside Diablo View Middle School Saturday morning. The pain of the racist that happened less than two weeks ago was fresh in his mind. 

Councilmember Holly Tillman says, “My concern were those students who for eight days had to go through knowing that their school administration did not have their back.”

Days after the student distributed cotton balls on campus to mock Black History Month,  Mount Diablo Unified School District Superintendent Adam Clark sent a letter to the parents but did not properly address the situation. 

According to the letter, one student was disciplined, but the East County NAACP and Clayton council member Holly Tillman says eight more students might have been involved. 

Tillman met with the principal Friday.

“To me, it had been swept under the rug. I get that people were suspended, which I don’t approve of really, because what are they going to do, do outside and play?” Tillman said.

Some believe that all students involved should be disciplined along with the principal who allegedly kept district leaders in the dark on the issue.

Local leaders are encouraging families to show up to the Mount Diablo Unified School District Board of Education’s meeting on February 22 to share their concerns.


Charlene is a Bay Area journalist who hails from the small community of Fresno. Drawing from her experience writing for her college paper, Charlene continues to advocate for free press and local journalism. She also volunteers in all the beach cleanups she can because she loves the water.