Calallen (Corpus Christi, Texas) Independent School District officials have “taken appropriate action” to address a video that shows high school cheerleaders singing a sexually-explicit and racially charged chant on a bus.
The video shows several girls wearing Calallen T-shirts chanting about sexual acts and using names like Kenisha and Shaniqua, which are typically associated with names for black women. None of the girls in the video are black.
The video, which is about a minute long, was originally posted to social media by one of the cheerleaders and later removed.
The Corpus Christi Caller-Times is not publishing the full content of the rap-style video because of its vulgar nature and because it would be offensive to many readers.
Each girl sings a different verse of the lewd song as the camera pans to each of the half dozen girls on the moving bus. Each girl announces a name and then raps about sex, often oral sex, before chanting again and then the next girl takes a turn.
One of the tamer verses includes the line “I’m a virgin. I eat that (expletive) … ”
Almendarez told the Caller-Times on Wednesday, Nov. 29, he had seen the video and district officials “have taken appropriate action” for the behavior shown in the video.
According to Calallen superintendent Arturo Almendarez, all students involved violated the school’s code of conduct.
The song is sung as a Shabooya roll call, which has a distinctive rhyming pattern for each verse.
That style of song was featured in Spike Lee’s 1996 movie “Get on The Bus” and in 2006’s “Bring it On: All or Nothing,” a cheerleading comedy.
A flash drive with the video along with a three-page letter signed “Calallen’s Conscience” was addressed to Almendarez and Deputy Superintendent Anita Danaher. It detailed the video and called for immediate action from district officials.
Almendarez said he went over the contents of the letter with the high school’s principal and assistant principal.
Danaher, who is also the wife of Head Football Coach and Athletic Director Phil Danaher, added that district officials took immediate action.
“I’m appalled. This is not what we are about. It’s not our tradition. I’m appalled,” she said.
The letter states the video was taken on a bus after Friday’s playoff football game in San Antonio. The letter states the girls are seen “laughing, smiling and encouraging each other to be more raunchy the last girl.”
“What is worse, the video shows the racist and bigotry as all the ‘names’ they choose to refer to themselves as are historically associated with black American girls,” the letter states. “Have we not come (farther) than this? Apparently not in Calallen. Racism is alive and well.”
The letter claims to be written on behalf of a “group of students and parents.” It questions where the girls’ coaches and chaperones were during the video.
“You think the UIL director would allow this behavior of the students traveling to competitions? Hell no! you think the football boosters will be supportive of this behavior? Think again,” the letter states.
Head cheerleading coach Heather Rachui declined to comment about the video and letter and referred all questions to district officials.
The high school’s student handbook for 2017-18 addresses bus behavior.
“Usual classroom conduct shall be observed. Unruly conduct, including the use of obscene language, will subject the passenger to disciplinary action,” the handbook states.
The anonymous letter and copies of the video were also sent to the band director, the Topcat director and football booster club president.
There’s also allegations in the letter that district officials “swept under the rug” that cheerleaders were smoking marijuana last year and caught vaping this year and allowed by coaches to continue vaping at school events and the locker room.
Almendarez said “a lot of things in that letter are not true,” a sentiment Danaher echoed. He added that last summer the district investigated an allegation of marijuana use. They found that current students were present when a former student was using the drug.
While the district officials declined to say what actions they have taken to address the recent video, the letter states “the cheerleaders should be forced to apologize for their racist, bigoted and hateful choice to insult black American girls.”
The football team remains in the Class 5A, Division 2, Texas High School football playoffs.
“Coach Dahaher does not deserve a video like this to embarrass and taint his legacy,” the letter states.