FRESNO, Calif. -- A Fresno middle school vice principal was suspended over an alleged racist comment that was caught on a student's cellphone.
In the cellphone video posted on YouTube, a student asks Scandinavian Middle School Vice Principal Joseph Defillipo, "Who at this school do you not like?"
His response was, "I just don't like the black kids."
Latricia Medley has a child attending Scandinavian Middle School. She saw the online video and told Action News: "I was like shocked. Why would you want to put something like that on camera in front of a bunch of kids."
We asked her if she thought perhaps Defillipo was trying to make a joke.
"That's not a joke," she said. "That's not a very funny joke."
And nobody's laughing. Students at the school tell Action News that they had heard all about it. Most seemed to have already downloaded it on their phones. Some were repeating the words "don't like black kids" loudly on campus.
The school district is taking it seriously. A written statement to Action News reads:
"The interaction between the Scandinavian student and our employee has been brought to our attention and we are conducting an investigation. Fresno Unified takes this matter very seriously and we will take any necessary actions pending the results. During our investigation, and as a matter of practice, the employee is on paid administrative leave."
Medley says she has had conversations with Defillipo and never had a sense of any racism, but can't get over what she saw and heard online.
"I think he should be fired," she said. "Why should we have to have our kids overseen by someone that don't like them?"
Again, Fresno Unified has put Defillipo on paid administrative leave while they try to figure out why he said what he did, and what should be done about it.