White Students 'Bid' On Black Classmates In 'Online Slave Auction': Report

By Zuri Anderson

February 26, 2024

Teenage girl using a phone while lying on her bed
Photo: NickyLloyd / E+ / Getty Images

An investigation is underway after reports of white students setting up an "online slave auction" and "bid" on Black classmates from a Massachusetts school.

Western Mass News confirmed the Hampden District Attorney's Office is looking into allegations of racial bullying at the Southwick Regional School in Southwick. The Greater Springfield branch of the NAACP claims a young female student was called the N-word and raised the alarm about the online slave auction.

Allyson Lopez, who's the mother of the female student, provided more details about the racist incident. She said her daughter was placed on a fictional sale block of the slave auction.

“It was called ‘black lives ral’, the l stood low class or low. But, it was $2 to $4 a bid,” Lopez told reporters. The mother is also confused about why the school, which is celebrating Black History Month, took so long to do anything about the harassment.

The NAACP has filed a complaint about the incident, which mentions Lopez and her daughter.

"The reported behavior is disturbing. The use of racial slurs, racially motivated harassment, and an alleged ‘slave auction’ are reprehensible acts of hate that have no place in a learning environment or anywhere else in a civilized society," Greater Springfield NAACP President Bishop Talbert Swan said in a letter sent to Superintendent of Schools Jennifer C. Willard.

Willard said the school district has already investigated the incident in a statement sent to Western Mass News.

“The district investigated the situation in accordance with its established policies and protocols," the superintendent stated. "As of Friday, February 16, 2024, the district concluded its investigation; however, due to strict laws protecting student privacy, we are unable to comment on the specific disciplinary consequences and/or other steps taken by the district.”

Lopez, however, tells a different story.

“They have conducted an investigation... my daughter has not been investigated, they haven’t spoken to my daughter," she claims.

A spokesperson for the district attorney's office issued a statement condemning the allegations:

“The immediate description and nature of the alleged incident prompted Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni to direct the involvement of members of his office and its Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit,” officials wrote. “Hate-based harassment and violence have no place in our community. We will investigate any such allegations and will prosecute any criminal violations vigorously.”

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