By Niko Mann
A white man in Fresno, California, reportedly called 911 after a verbal confrontation with three teenage Black girls inside a gated community, ABC7 News reports.
Fred Veenendaal a principal at Sunnyside High School in Fresno said he was calling the police on April 16 following a confrontation with three Black girls 17-year-old Kyra Schrubb, 17-year-old Bri’janae Lewis and a friend as they cut through the neighborhood on their way to the store.
The girls began recording Veenendaal as he made a phone call and one of the teens is heard saying that he was harassing them.
“We didn’t even do nothing, so we recording you right now. You know that’s harassment, right?”
After Veenendaal responded by saying, “No it’s not,” he is heard calling the three teenagers “ghetto.”
“Officers, you got three girls here,” he said. “Three Section 8 people here, ghetto girls.”
Veenendaal also held up his phone as if he was also recording the three teenagers.
The high school principal is also heard telling the teens that he is on the gated community’s board of directors. Kyra’s mom told the outlet that her daughter and her friends often take a shortcut through the gated community because it cuts 10 minutes off of their walk to the store. She added that the teens have access because they have a friend living in the gated community.
Kyra told the outlet that Veenendaal was being racist for no reason.
“You didn’t have to do all that, you didn’t have to racial profile for no reason,” she said. “I feel so bad because like as a Black woman, I should be able to walk, you know, and do, just walk peacefully without, you know, people being racist for no reason.”
“Why would you even say some stuff like that? We’re minors,” added Bri’janae. “I hope he gets fired. He gotta go.”
The girls said that the police never showed up, and it’s unclear if Veenendaal actually called the authorities. The teens learned that Veenendaal was a principal at the high school after posting the video on TikTok.
Fresno Unified said that they are investigating the incident.
“We are aware of the video circulating, and the district started an investigation into the matter early Monday. The labels used in the video do not align with the high standards we have for our Fresno Unified leaders and staff,” read the statement. “We want to assure our families that having respectful, inclusive, and loving adults serving in our school is of the utmost importance to Sunnyside and our district as a whole.”
Veenendaal is currently on paid administrative leave while the school district investigates, according to district spokesperson Nikki Henry.
“While we are investigating,” said Henry. “The staff member in the video is not working with students.”
It is still unclear if the teenagers are students in the FUSD school district, according to Henry.
“That’s part of our investigation.”