The parents of a former student are suing a Wisconsin school for racial harassment.
According to Blake Broadnax, who is black, white students at Edgewood High School racially harassed him, while both administrators and teachers refused to intervene to end the harassment.
“From 2011 through December 2013, while a student at Edgewood, Blake was subjected to repeated incidents of racial harassment, discrimination and bullying,” says a lawsuit filed by Blake’s parents, Keith and Rena. “In some cases, defendants were made aware of these incidents and failed to take actions necessary to stop them from occurring.”
The Journal Sentinel recounts some of the racial incidents:
When a teacher in Broadnax’s freshman year religion class asked someone to run an errand for her, a student suggested Broadnax should do it because he was “the slave.” Edgewood claimed to have suspended the student and held a mediation between Broadnax and the student, but the lawsuit alleges no punishment was dealt out.
Black Student’s GPA Drops From 3.6 to 2.8 Due to Racial Harassment from White Peers
In his sophomore speech class, a peer looking over Broadnax’s paper wrote and referred to Broadnax by the N-word several times in his feedback. The lawsuit contends the student was not disciplined because he had already secured a college scholarship and the paper was unavailable since the student had graduated.
In a sophomore science class, Broadnax was told by a female student to “stop acting black” and “ghetto.” After Broadnax told the student her comments were inappropriate, the teacher threatened to send Broadnax to the principal’s office. Broadnax asked if he could go to the office to report the incident, but the teacher told him to sit down.
During a discussion with classmates about an upcoming American literature quiz, a student brought up rhyming words, made eye contact with Broadnax and used the example of trigger and the N-word.
The lawsuit alleges that the Catholic school became aware of racial issues at the school in 2010, but did not address them until 2014, when a letter was sent to parents and an assembly was held.
During the harassment, Blake’s grade point average dropped from 3.6 to 2.8.
Edgewood officials responded in a statement that the school acted “promptly and appropriately at all times in addressing and taking action on the matters that were brought to our attention.”
Source: Breaking Brown