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Lawsuit: students mocked a black student, threatened self-immolation

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Administrators of the Missouri School District, which is the subject of a federal civil rights investigation, have failed to protect …

Administrators at the Missouri School District, which is the subject of a federal civil rights investigation, have failed to protect the black teenager from repeated racial harassment that resulted in him threatened with lynching, the lawsuit alleges.

In a lawsuit filed this month in state court, what happened was called “outrageous” and demanded compensation for the Kearney School District of 3,500 students, located north of Kansas City. The situation became so bad that the teenager, identified as KW, called his parents in tears, saying that white students were trying to “incite violence against him” and that he was “no longer able to stand it”. The teenager’s parents took him away from school.

The county statement said it did not respond to unresolved litigation, but sought to “fully ensure that every student can learn in a non-discriminatory environment in any form.”

Internet records from the U.S. Department of Education show that the county is conducting two open investigations into racial harassment. The Department’s Civil Rights Office does not discuss the details of its investigations. Dozens of other parts of the country are also under investigation, records show.

The lawsuit alleges that problems arose during the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years when the student was attending Kearney High School. The suit says that less than 2% of students are black and 92% are white.

When KW joined the swimming team, the white swimmers told him he needed to “briefly shave his hair and dye it blonde,” the suit said. The coach’s sister, who, according to the costume, also suffered in the junior classes, told the coach what had happened.

In one case, she went to a teacher and principal to report that in class she was called racially ugly, and she was told the situation would be resolved at a “future date” because the student was playing football and his father was a coach, the suit said. .

Another time a white high school classmate photographed KW and put a racial stain on him. The situation was reported to the administrators.

In January 2019, two white high school students, Kearney, began sending KW photos posing with the Confederate flag, with messages such as “Heritage, but I mostly hate my brother”. The teen’s mother told administrators.

The lawsuit said one of KW’s persecutors was a girl who told him he couldn’t “do anything about” the racist comments she made on social media because if he tried, she would make all the white people in town beat him up. . The algebra teacher, who overheard the conversation, accompanied K.V. to the office, where the director told him not to pay attention to the girl because she was poorer than him, the suit said.

The situation only got worse: white students tortured him with the sounds of monkeys, the suit said.

KW also received anonymous reports condemning him for the way he treated a white girl. One message read: “I hope to see your black ass on the tree. Alabama in the style of the wind chime. Reports for KW continued: “I hope you and your monkey family are all white in Kearney.”

The lawsuit described the harassment as “sometimes horrific” and said the district “silently tolerates and tolerates” what happened because it acted slowly and then took only “ineffective corrective action.”

Family lawyer Dan Curry said in a statement that KW had moved to another area where he “prospered and graduated”.

“But,” Curry added, “no child should experience persistent racial harassment at school, and it has affected my client immediately and internally.”

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