GARDEN GROVE (CBSLA) — School district and county officials are condemning a video showing two students mocking and harassing their Vietnamese classmates at Bolsa Grande High School in Garden Grove.
In the videos, two female students record themselves shouting, “coronavirus!” at Asian students during an assembly in early March, harassing a girl wearing a mask, and dancing in a traditional Vietnamese hat before throwing it down and running away.
The video was posted on Facebook by alumna Teriann Nguyen, who said she has been taking to the Garden Grove Unified School District about the videos. She said that this behavior is a far cry from her experience growing up and going to school in the area.
“There wasn’t any sort of racism during my high school years,” Nguyen wrote in the post. “Seeing them mock and disrespect my culture AND harassing another student because she was wearing a face mask, this ANGERS me.”
The Garden Grove Unified School District says they are investigating the incident with the Garden Grove Police Department.
“The behaviors shown in the video are unacceptable and will not be tolerated by Bolsa Grande or GGUSD,” the district said in a statement. “Rest assured that any students engaging in such behaviors, including hate/bias speech or activities will face disciplinary action in accordance with California Education Code.”
Orange County’s Board of Supervisors also strongly condemned the behavior shown in the videos.
“I am appalled by the racist conduct perpetrated against Vietnamese American students by their classmates at Bolsa Grande High School,” said Andrew Do, the board’s vide chairman, in the statement. “As a former victim of repeated racist attacks when I was a student at Bolsa Grande, it hurts me deeply to see these same patterns continue decades later.”
“It is unacceptable that a few Bolsa Grande High School students added emotional duress to their classmates during our turbulent, emotional climate,” Supervisor Donald Wagner added.
A change.org petition calling for the removal and expulsion of the students in the video has nearly 50,000 signatures.