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Racist Bullying: A Legal Debate

The school, which handed down one-day suspensions to the admitted bullies, is claiming immunity on this matter because it is a religious school.

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The mother of a seventh-grade Trinity Episcopal School Galveston student is suing the school itself, the head of the school along with three former classmates of her son over racist bullying.

The boy was enrolled in the Trinity sixth-grade class in 2014 but his mother was forced to remove him in April 2016 when he could not take the racist bullying anymore.

These students would make “KKK origami” which resembled the hoods that Ku Klux Klan members wear, verbally harass the boy with “KKK beats,” and they even claimed that their fathers were “dragon masters of the KKK.” They bullied the student so much that he did not feel safe at school.

According to Huffington Post: “Throughout this time, school administrators ignored the problem, even after C.R.’s family brought it to their attention, the lawsuit says. Even though the students admitted to the bullying, according to the lawsuit, they were only given one-day suspensions and required to apologize ― consequences the plaintiff deems sorely lacking”

The school’s statement reads, “Trinity Episcopal School Galveston is saddened by the lawsuit that has been filed by the mother of a former 7th grade student against the school, its head, and three of her son’s former classmates. As a religious institution, Trinity has a constitutionally-protected freedom to make decisions regarding the discipline of its students without judicial interference,”

“The school has policy that prohibits any form of bullying or discrimination. As soon as the school was informed of an issue over a year ago, it addressed it immediately, consistent with its policy. The mother withdrew her child from the school four days later.

“Trinity Episcopal School values diversity and is committed to upholding standards that reflect our mission in Christ. Because this dispute involves children, we will have no further comment on the litigation.”

 

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Erin Whitten is currently CMN's Senior Correspondent and is currently a student at Arizona State University majoring in Mass Communications and Media Studies.

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