Video shows California teens laughing as one is painted with blackface

Antelope Valley Union High School District promised to find and punish students in the footage.

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By David K. Li and Jareen Imam

A group of California teenagers used a racial slur while painting one of their friends in blackface in a video that stunned school officials, who vowed to identify and punish the students.

The footage emerged on Snapchat and was later reposted on Twitter, prompting Antelope Valley Union High School District administrators to ask law enforcement for help in finding those who participated in the video.

It was shot off-campus sometime this summer by students from Quartz Hill High School, which is in the northern Los Angeles County city of Lancaster, according to county sheriff's deputies. It's about 70 miles north of downtown L.A.

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The video shows a white male teen being painted in dark makeup with several girls around him. One of the female voices could be heard saying, "a white N-----?" while the others giggle.

Los Angeles county sheriff's deputies concede the video doesn't amount to a crime, but they're still helping the school district investigate.

"We are working to identify those in the video, while including our law enforcement partners, and will take action as deemed appropriate," according to an Antelope Valley Union High School District statement this week.

"We strive to provide a culture of inclusivity and kindness. We ask all students, parents and community to share our commitment to compassionate and kind conduct both on and off campus."

Quartz Hill High School issued a similar statement to parents, insisting this incident doesn't reflect the true campus culture.

"While this video goes against everything QHHS stands for, we will not let it shape our school culture," according to the statement. "Our true strength is our diversity and our unity of purpose in creating an inclusive, compassionate and safe school culture."

Earlier this year, four teachers and their principal at Summerwind Elementary School, eight miles away in Palmdale, were suspended for emailing an image of four smiling teachers posing with a rope fashioned into a noose.