Parents of black student say staff failed to stop racial discrimination

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The parents of a black student at Bowie High School in Bowie said staff at the school ignored the bullying of their daughter for three years. They’ve now filed a lawsuit against the Austin school district, saying teachers and administrators allowed harassment and discrimination to repeatedly occur.

In their suit, Charles Sneed and Pamela Parks say their 17-year-old daughter, referred to as “C.S.,” has suffered psychological and physical ailments, the Austin American-Statesman reported. The suit seeks damages from the district under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which outlaws racial discrimination in any program that receives federal funds.

“The real issue is that she was a victim of racial discrimination in a place where she should be safe from it,” attorney Martin Cirkiel, who is representing the parents, said at a Wednesday news conference.

According to the newspaper, Parks said at the conference that her daughter, who will be a senior in the fall, kept much of the harassment and discrimination to herself.

“By the time it started coming out, as a parent you feel horrible thinking that your kid lived through this day after day and just thought it’s the norm,” Parks said.

A school district representative declined to comment on the suit.

The parents say racist jokes and the N-word were common among students and that teachers refused to intervene. The suit says that “C.S” suffered worse harassment after reporting the incidents, and the parents say staff at Bowie High made empty promises about stopping the harassment.

 

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