Fact Check

Fairfax County Third-Grade Racism Posting

A popular anecdote about the influence of Donald Trump on Fairfax County schoolchildren was confirmed by the district.

Published March 7, 2016

Image courtesy of Flickr
A Fairfax County schoolteacher informed a student's mother that her black child was singled out by other students as likely to be deported if Donald Trump were elected.

On 6 March 2016, writer and Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King published a screen capture of a post by Facebook user Evelyn Momplaisir which decried an instance of purported racism in her child's third-grade class:

America. 2016. The mainstreaming of bigotry trickling down to children.

Posted by Shaun King on Sunday, March 6, 2016

The screenshot lacked a specific date, and King didn't specify how he came to discover the claim. Momplaisir's Facebook post wasn't the first shared by a mother fearful of her child's well-being — a similar story made the rounds in December 2015.

We spoke with representatives of Fairfax County Public Schools, who were unfamiliar with Momplaisir's claim, but told us they would investigate the allegation.

We also contacted Momplaisir on Facebook to ask about the status update. As the reader e-mail indicated, the post was either deleted or its privacy settings changed to make it viewable to Facebook friends only by 7 March 2016, and King's screenshot displayed a post that was at one point public. It's possible that after King shared the post Momplaisir changed its settings to protect her privacy.

On 8 March 2016, Fairfax County Schools Public Information Officer John Torre emailed us the following statement:

FCPS is aware of a recent Facebook post made by a concerned parent regarding political statements made by elementary students within her child’s classroom. The teacher has spoken with the students, and communicated with parents of the class, regarding appropriate classroom decorum.  The concerned parent is satisfied by the response of the teacher and FCPS.  FCPS works to create an environment that is conducive to learning and where everyone is treated with respect.

Kim LaCapria is a former writer for Snopes.