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Racist photo depicting ‘N-Word’ posted by Cedar Falls student

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CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (KWWL) - The Cedar Falls School District is condemning and responding to a racist social media post on Snapchat by a student.

The picture is blurred to cover the racial slur on a cake. The slur spelled out a form of the N-Word in what looks like M&M's and the student is smiling.

Cedar Falls Superintendent Andy Pattee condemned the post by the student, saying the district has taken disciplinary action.

"As a District, we are concerned about a grossly inappropriate posting on social media and have taken swift and appropriate disciplinary action. Events, such as this, shows the ongoing need for our school system and our society to listen, learn and take action to end racism."

Andy Pattee, Cedar Falls Superintendent

KWWL inquired about the specific disciplinary action against the student, but have not received a response.

Vice-chair of Waterloo Human Rights Commission, Theresa Culpepper, received a number of social media messages regarding the post.

"I am deeply troubled by the posts of students who are members of the Cedar Valley wither through the location of their residence or their schools. The posts that community members have sent to me show a disregard for people of color and more specifically, Black people. I worry that there are students of color in school who may feel as though their learning environments are hostile. My heart hurts for our young ones. They have been taught hatred. This is especially concerning with Martin Luther King Jr. day being on Monday and now Black History Month. In light of events that transpired the first week of January at the capital, I encourage all households to have dialogues with their children. Children should be aware of the impact of their actions. Children who do not feel welcomed or feel threatened by these behaviors should meet with their parents and with the school administration or contact a Human Rights Commission."

Theresa Culpepper, Vice-chair of Waterloo Human Rights Commission

Parents within the Cedar Falls School District say they are concerned with the "racism deeply rooted within the district."

Cedar Falls native and mother to Cedar Falls students, Joyce Levingston, talked to News 7 KWWL about the post, saying there needs to be serious talk to demand change within the Cedar Falls School District.

"Our teachers need to be more educated in Black History, racism, micro-aggressions, and even what it's like to be a minority student in a predominantly white institution," Levingston said. "It's not that our students need babying but we need to be aware that these racial slurs and microaggressions build upon our students' backs and it's not healthy for them."

Levingston continued to say racist posts have been common within the last six months.

"I mean this girl with the cake is not the first that has happened even within the last six months," Levingston said.

A complaint was filed by Levingston to the NAACP. She wants to see incidents be investigated by an outside agency.

"Especially when it comes to racial matters, that way we can ensure we do see the changes that we need to see," Levingston said.

The student's post comes out on the groundbreaking inauguration day of Kamala Harris, the nation's first Black vice president, and in the week of remembrance for iconic figure Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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Vinny Lowerre

Producer & Multimedia Journalist

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