A woman filed a civil rights complaint in the U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City alleging her son experienced racial harassment at school, reported Standard Examiner. The Davis School District was previously punished by the U.S. Justice Department for its pattern of discrimination. Three staff members from the boy’s junior high school were listed in the suit.
The complaint alleges Nicole Sieger’s son, a freshman at North Layton Junior High School, was called a “cotton picker” and asked by students for an “N-word pass” so they could spout racist slurs at him, per Standard Examiner. The suit also alleges the boy was slapped in the face by a white student during an assembly and was apprehended by a teacher for the incident instead of the white student.
Here’s more on the complaint from Standard Examiner:
The suit said a teacher asked Sieger’s son in February to go to the restroom to see why several other students had not returned. He saw those students using illegal substances and reported it to the teacher, but later he was accused of having illegal substances and a secretary searched his backpack, according to the suit.
The suit also said a school official then accused the teen of inappropriately touching a white female student. Sieger’s son said he had kissed the girl, but the official pressed him to tell “the rest of the story” and said the school had video of the incident. The suit said that after Sieger complained to the district, the district said there was no such video, according to the suit.
Sieger’s son wasn’t the only student to experience racial harassment in this particular school district. Standard Examiner reported 10-year-old Izzy Tichenor, a Black and autistic student, died of suicide as a result of bullying that went ignored by the school staff. Sieger said via the complaint her son has suffered from anxiety due to the incidents which have affected his grades.
The Justice Department found in a two-year investigation that Black and Asian-American students face serious racial harassment in the Davis School District, per Standard Examiner. The schools were ordered to fix the issue.
Sieger’s suit seeks monetary damages and a court order requiring the district to comply with the Justice Department’s orders to stop racial discrimination.