Bloomfield Hills High School Succeeds With $150 Million Suit Alleging ‘Dangerous’ Racism

A Michigan high school has been embroiled in a series of race-related controversies — with students organize a walk to protest against classmates’ racist behavior earlier this month — currently being sued by a student for alleged discrimination.

NBC Detroit reported that a high school student and his parents have filed a $150 million federal class-action lawsuit against Bloomfield Hills High School, the school’s principal, Charlie Hollerith, and Superintendent Patrick Watson on Thursday. The 15-year-old girl, who did not want to be named, and her parents allege that the school administration failed to properly handle cases of racism, causing emotional anxiety among students of color.

“As students of color, plaintiffs and their parents experienced racist, unfair, hurtful, and sometimes dangerous interactions at [Bloomfield Hills] at the hands of both white staff and students,” the lawsuit said. “Despite being informed by students and parents about racism and related injustices, [the] the respondent has failed and continues to fail to take reasonably calculated steps to prevent discrimination and ensure [the] the safety of the plaintiff. ”

The student detailed her own experiences of racism in the lawsuit, alleging that she found a Black doll with big red lips hanging from a noose on the railing. schools. After telling a white school counselor about the doll, the student said the counselor simply brushed it off and said it was part of a science project. The lawsuit says the students then pulled the doll by the noose in a video that went viral on social media.

In another detail detailed in the lawsuit, the student told a teacher about a white classmate using racial slurs, but the educator alleges that the white student only joking and never punishing that classmate. The female student also alleges that her white classmates mocked the way she wore her hair, that racial slurs were used repeatedly without any effect, and that she was treated differently from others. as the only black student on the school’s equestrian team.

Bloomfield Hills School District did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Daily Beast.

The lawsuit happened after a a series of racist incidents attracted the Bloomfield Hills School. On November 8, a racist post made by a student went viral on social media. Hollerith addressed the situation in a letter to the families, saying “disciplinary measures” would be taken. Then, on November 10, profanity, graffiti and racist threats were found inside a school bathroom. Hollerith and Watson both shared a statement with the students’ families that the situation would be investigated. On November 12, hundreds of students organized a walkout to protest the way school officials are handling events and demand better leadership.

The school organizes a Community forum on November 16, according to NBC Detroit. Parents claimed that they were only partially informed of what was happening, and students said they did not feel safe.

In one Thursday Education Board Meeting In the evening, parents in Bloomfield Hills immediately addressed the rise in incidents of racism at schools. One black mother said she and her husband chose not to send their children to school late because they did not feel that “appropriate safety procedures were in place”. Another Black parent expressed her frustration at the “lack of responsiveness by the administration” and “no concern for the safety of Black children at Bloomfield Hills High School.”

As soon as he stepped onto the podium, parent Derek Albert addressed the board of education and accused them all of being “complicit” in what was happening to the Black student.

“The area is fraught with danger right now, and what have you done about it? Absolutely nothing,” he said. “You are complicit when you do nothing. … If you don’t want to do [anything], resignation. Out of here. We will have someone here who will do something. “

The lawsuit filed Thursday calls for a full investigation into the racist threats, clear communication with Bloomfield Hills High School families, and sensitivity training for all. both teachers. The lawsuit also requires the hiring of additional Black staff to reflect the number of Black students attending the school. Bloomfield Hills High School Succeeds With $150 Million Suit Alleging ‘Dangerous’ Racism


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