Five students from Coosa High School in Rome, Georgia are suing the Floyd County School district on claims of racial discrimination and violation of their constitutional rights, according to CNN. The suit claims school administrators failed to address repeated racist incidents including students reenacting George Floyd’s murder.
The students along with their mothers claim in the suit that their First Amendment and equal protection rights were violated. Per the suit, there were multiple complaints of students being racist that were deliberately ignored. For example, one student came to school wearing a Confederate flag belt and called Black students slaves. Another time a white student held a whip and told Black students “We used to whip you with this.”
More on the case from CNN:
“The Plaintiffs, who are African-American, challenge Coosa High’s deliberate indifference to acts of racial animosity toward Black students perpetrated by White students and teachers; as well as the school’s viewpoint discrimination in its dress code and the inconsistent administration of disciplinary policies to the detriment of Black students,” the lawsuit says.
“This case is a reminder that we are still fighting in the South over just who and what we are as a region,” plaintiff attorney Artur Davis said in a statement to CNN. “Cases like this are necessary to show how far we still need to go in the South to be one community.”
Attorney Harry Daniels told CNN this lawsuit is intended to end discrimination against these students so that they can focus on their education.
“Racism has no place in our country and definitely has no place in our school systems,” he said.
The suit is asking for monetary damages, amendment to the school dress code (to address the Confederate belt) and the expungement of the students’ disciplinary records from planning a protest against discrimination.