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Woodland's Pioneer High School looking into administrator's racist comments

In a video posted on social media, a man people claim is the school's athletic director can be heard saying the n-word multiple times.

WOODLAND, Calif. — A Pioneer High School administrator is being investigated by the Woodland Joint Unified School District for allegedly using the n-word with students.

Viewers alerted ABC10 to a video on Twitter, where Athletic Director Joshua Holloway is allegedly heard using the n-word multiple times to describe his life experience with diverse communities.

Woodland Joint Unified School District Superintendent Tom Pritchard told ABC10 that, "The District is aware of the social media post and is currently investigating the matter but because this is a confidential personnel matter, the District may not comment further."

Holloway's face is not seen in the video, which appears to be recorded by a student without his knowledge. ABC10 reached to Holloway but has not heard back. The voice on the video appears to match other videos of Holloway online.

"I grew up in Long Beach, California. I went to more quinceaneras than I did white kid parties," the man in the video says. "Was called 'uso' by Samoans — that's brother."

The man in the video went on to mimic a Black man's voice saying, "N***a. My n***a... That's who I am. That's where I grew up. But no, you don't know that. You just see, 'Oh, this privilege white guy telling me, who doesn't know my background... He does't know where I come from.' Yeah, I do."

On Monday, Superintendent Pritchard posted a message on Pioneer's website saying: "During the past week, the Board and I have received concerns related to Pioneer High School. Many of the comments have shared the need for an immediate response. This communication is to let our community know that we are listening and our Board will be taking an opportunity within the next few days to appropriately discuss what is being shared."

PRINCIPAL PETITION

The school is also dealing with a petition posted to change.org seeking Principal Sandra Reese's removal after she replied to a Tweet by President Trump about the border wall, writing, "What we really need is a dome. The vast majority of illegal aliens fly here and then overstay their VISAs."

Regarding the petition and tweet, Superintendent Pritchard told ABC10 that, "The District is aware of a January 2019 social media post attributed to Principal Sandy Reese. The post was made during her personal non-work time with her own device and is not attributable to the Woodland Joint Unified School District, its Administration, or its Board of Trustees. The District has taken appropriate remedial action but because this is a confidential personnel matter, the District may not comment further."

Reese's Twitter account has since become private. Before going private, ABC10 viewed some of her older tweets, some of which appear to show her being critical of the president.

In a statement to ABC10, Reese said the comment was meant to be "ironic/sarcastic."

"It was ironic/sarcastic meaning that it felt, to me, that it made about as much sense to put up a wall as it might to put up a dome around the country. I am categorically opposed to the ideas that Trump's wall stands for. The rest of my responses on Twitter make that completely clear," Reese said.

Reese added that she disabled her account to keep her political views to herself and to avoid confusing students.

"While I am not a Trump supporter, I do understand that many of our students have various political perspectives and it is my job to protect their rights to express those views," she said. "Having my own views in any way interfere in that process is counterproductive." 

According to the latest demographic data from the state, 67% of Pioneer High School's 1,500 students are Hispanic, 13% are white, 7.5% Asian and 1% African American.

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