An Iowa family is outraged and dissatisfied with the response from their 10-year-old daughter’s school after she came home last week with “loser” scrawled across her forehead and a mustache and other markings drawn on her face.
The child, identified as Raeann Long, reportedly cried to her parents as she explained that one girl held her down on the school bus while another drew on her face, the Des Moines Register reports. Both alleged bullies ignored Raeann’s pleas for them to stop.
“These girls asked her to sit by them, and my daughter, she’s a people person … so she went over there and thought everything was going to be OK,” Raeann’s father, Zach Dabney, told the news site.
Dabney reported the incident, which reportedly took place Jan. 31, to officials at Titan Hill Intermediate School in Council Bluff, but he’s not satisfied with their response. He believes that the school bus driver should never have allowed the incident to occur.
The family is now planning to file a civil lawsuit against the school and the bus driver and have also filed a report with Council Bluff police.
Titan Hill Principal Kent Stopak said that the incident was investigated and steps were taken to discipline those involved, although he did not specify what kind of disciplinary actions were taken.
“The Lewis Central Community School District does not tolerate this type of behavior,” Stopak said in a statement Monday. “I will continue to work with our student body to ensure that everyone is treated with dignity and respect.”
Dabney is not convinced, however, and says that his children have been subjected to bullying before. He believes that much of the bullying is racially motivated because his four children are mixed race, with African-American and Native American heritage.
Dabney said that his 11-year-old son told him that students had called him a racial slur earlier in the year. The father adds that he doesn’t fully blame the children for their behavior and says that he believes it’s their parents who teach them that these actions are OK.
“We’re going to try to bring this to the light,” Dabney said. “A lot of parents are scared to pursue it the way we’re going. … But it’s not fair for kids to go to school and be scared of being there.”
Read more at USA Today.