DeSoto principal's e-mail brings calls of racism

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by CRAIG CIVALE

WFAA

Posted on March 12, 2012 at 10:00 PM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 13 at 4:07 PM

DeSOTO — An e-mail sent by a DeSoto middle school principal has stirred up concerns and calls for an investigation by the district.

The e-mail was sent March 8 from DeSoto West Middle School Principal Kevin Dixon to his staff.

It mentions Assistant Principal Audrey Barnes leading "everyone in a 'Westside' River Dance to celebrate the beginning of Spring Break."

Dixon, who is white, added a link to a YouTube page that shows five computer-generated monkeys dancing.

Barnes, who is African-American, turned down our requests for an interview, but friends say she was offended by the e-mail and may file a compliant.

DeSoto School Board member Sandra Wheeler called it very disturbing.

"I'm thinking the individual who sent it thought it was funny, but I don't think it's funny," Wheeler said. "I don't see any humor in it, whatsoever."

DeSoto West Middle School is 85 percent African-American.

When reached by phone, Kevin Dixon had no comment for News 8.

E-mail ccivale@wfaa.com

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