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Parents Assail Pep Rally Skit As Racist

November 23, 1987

PLANO, Texas (AP) _ Black students and their parents are protesting what they describe as a racist skit that was presented during a high school pep rally.

The skit featured three students dressed in black trash bags with huge red paper lips who were identified as students of Roosevelt High School, a predominantly black school in Dallas, according to Plano Senior High School principal Doyle Dean and some students who attended the pep rally Friday.

Plano defeated Roosevelt in a playoff football game Friday night.

″The first thing I thought of was, ’Well, I guess this is how Plano sees most blacks, with big lips and running around acting stupid,‴ said Dexter Lee, a Plano senior who is black.

Michael McReynolds, one of the protesting parents, said he and about 50 other parents met with Dean on Sunday and were to meet later with Superintendent H. Wayne Hendrick.

The parents are asking for three things, McReynolds said: replacement of cheerleader sponsor Carolyn Rodman, reprimands for Ms. Rodman and Dean, and a public assembly to apologize to Plano and Roosevelt students.

Dean said he and Ms. Rodman knew the pep rally would include a skit, but were not aware of its racial overtones.

″The cheerleader sponsor will be much more careful about that in the future, and I will be much more careful, too,″ he said Sunday.

Of the school’s 2,700 students, 35 to 40 are black, Dean said. He said the skit was offensive to black and white students alike.

″It was perceived as something by our student body and staff as being in poor taste and inappropriate and something that should not have been done,″ he said.

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