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Hempfield students' racist video being investigated by police

| Monday, March 20, 2017, 8:45 p.m.

State police are investigating allegations of racial intimidation and harassment after at least one West Hempfield Middle School student appeared in a racist video posted to Twitter.

In the video, boys of middle- and elementary-school age dance and make obscene gestures at the camera while a homemade rap song plays, calling the song's target “the whitest black man I know.”

In the opening shot, one boy wears what appears to be a crude Klansman's hood made of paper while another waves a toy gun. The participants in the video are white.

“Our school police officer ... is in the process of investigating to determine the identity of all the students involved,” Hempfield Area School District Superintendent Barbara Marin wrote in a statement posted to the district's website Monday. “This has been turned over to the ... police. We will not tolerate this type of racial intimidation and harassment.”

Marin said the district learned of the video early Monday morning and spent all day working with the West Hempfield principal to identify at least one of the boys in the video as a student at the school. Others came from other middle and elementary schools, Marin said.

“The video was not filmed on school property; it was done at home by these students,” she said. “I can't count the number of phone calls and emails we've received over this. We're cooperating with the investigation.”

Matthew Santoni is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724 836 6660 or msantoni@tribweb.com.

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