Liante Robinson says she’s still searching for answers after her 11-year-old son was attacked by a white classmate at a Pennsylvania middle school.
WTXF-TV reports that Robinson’s son, Nivre, had recently started attending sixth grade at Ridley Park Middle School when he got into an argument with a white classmate between classes. Not only did the student punch Nivre, Robinson says, but he then lobbed a racial slur at her son.
“As they were going inside the classroom, the student then said to my son, ‘That’s why you are a nigger’—said that to my son,” Robinson told the TV station.
According to Robinson, her son reported the incident to school administrators, but the harassment continued. Another white classmate questioned where he had been born. Later, the student who punched Nivre reportedly told a classmate, “You know I could kill him, right?” within earshot of the black student.
Despite contacting school officials in person, over email and over the phone, Robinson says that school administrators have not been forthcoming about how they were handling the abuse, and whether they had specific policies in place to protect students from racial attacks and harassment.
The dean of students did confirm to her that the boy who punched Nivre was handed a three-day suspension for physical contact. No additional punishment appears to have been given for the racial abuse and threats.
The school superintendent told WTXF-TV that once the boy returns from his suspension, he would have to attend a mandatory school conference with his parents, as well as be required to attend counseling.
Robinson says that she was not told any of this, and is concerned about the lack of a clear policy to address these issues.
“What we’re saying is, there has to be some sort of procedure in place to safeguard these kids that are in their care during the school day,” Robinson’s attorney, Donte Mills, said.
“You’re not ensuring me that you can keep my son safe,” said Robinson. “You’re not giving me any answers. You’re not doing anything.”
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