An investigation is underway at an Indiana high school after a photo caption in the school’s 2020 yearbook listed a student on the boys basketball team as “BLACK GUY” instead of by his name.
After images of the photo in the Brown County High School yearbook were posted to social media Monday, the superintendent apologized that evening in a Facebook Live video.
“It has been brought to our attention that that yearbook has a truly incomprehensible statement included in it,” the superintendent, Laura Hammack, said, adding that officials were “trying to better understand what that situation is all about.”
Hammack declined a request for an interview Thursday and referred NBC News to a statement she and Brown County High School principal, Matthew Stark, released Monday.
Brown County High School is a public school in Nashville, roughly 50 miles south of Indianapolis. There were 577 students enrolled in the 2019-20 school year, the majority of whom — 92.2 percent — are white, according to state data.
A new study from UCLA reports that since the start of the pandemic, 83 percent of the Asian American labor force with high school degrees or lower has filed unemployment insurance claims in California — the state with the highest population of Asian Americans — compared to 37 percent of the rest of the state’s labor force with the same level of education.
At the same time, new research shows that discrimination against Asian Americans is surging. More than 2,300 Asian Americans had reported bias incidents as of July 15, according to the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council, or A3PCON, which hosts the self-reporting tool Stop AAPI Hate.
The UCLA report, published last week, examined the impacts of the coronavirus on the Asian American labor force in California. It revealed that disadvantaged Asians working in service industries have been “severely impacted.”
Researcher Paul Ong, who worked on the report, said that beyond pervasive service industry struggles, he believes people are abandoning Asian establishments because of biases.
“This is why racializing COVID-19 as ‘the China virus’ has profound societal repercussions. We have seen this in the increase in verbal and physical attacks on Asians and in material ways in terms of joblessness and business failures,” he said in an interview.
The suit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas Austin Division on April 24 by two plaintiffs, Maria Bromley and Pauta Kleber, who claim to have spent over $1,000 each on attending the event that was originally scheduled for March 12-20 in Austin. On March 6, organizers announced they were forced to cancel the annual festival due to a city order that prohibited large gatherings in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Following the cancellation, SXSW informed ticket and pass holders that they would not be receiving refunds. Instead, the independent festival offered pass holders free registration — equivalent to the amount they spent for the 2020 festival — that would be valid for SXSW in 2021, 2022 or 2023. They were also offered a 50% discount based on the amount they spent in 2020 for another one of those three years.
According to the lawsuit, both plaintiffs were informed that the offer expires on April 30, 2020. The complaint notes that these offers were put forth by the festival on March 12, which additionally stated that it “cannot be certain that future festivals will occur.”