The parents of a Black student at a Catholic high school in Alabama have filed a lawsuit after the student was allegedly tormented by racist bullies who drew him as a monkey and called him racial slurs.
According to AL.com, the incident occurred at Prince of Peace Catholic School in Hoover, Ala.
In a video of the escalating taunts, posted on social media, a student can be heard using the n-word and also saying that the Black student “escaped my slave house.”
Marvin and Kenya Marshall, the Black student’s parents, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the North District of Alabama, Southern Division, accusing the school; Prince of Peace Church Pastor John Fallon; Principal Connie Angstadt; School President Kelly Doss; and Associate Principal Bridget, of racial discrimination.
The lawsuit claims that the Black student was called several racial slurs throughout the 2017-2018 school year. After one class, a teacher also discovered a drawing of the child depicted as a monkey. Additionally, white students made monkey sounds in the Black student’s presence on at least two different occasions, according to the lawsuit.
Yet somehow, John Whitaker, an attorney for the Catholic Diocese of Birmingham, insists that race has nothing to do with the Black student’s treatment. Whitaker pointed out that the student who used the slur was Hispanic (because you know, Hispanic people can’t be white or anti-black), whose parents are from Colombia. The Hispanic student is no longer a student, according to Whitaker.
Also, completely unironically, the white student who took the video was also disciplined, but received only five days detention and two days in school suspension.
“Race had nothing to do with what happened,” Whitaker insisted. “Rules had everything to do with what happened.”
Whitaker wrote a response to the lawsuit, blasting Kenya Marshall for posting the video to her social media, and exposing the offender’s behavior. He wrote:
Recently one of our students was videoed using a racial slur. Although it was impossible to tell to whom the slur was directed, given the ethnic diversity of the school, we took the matter seriously. He had violated school rules and was disciplined accordingly. Sadly, he is no longer a student at this school. The matter was further complicated by one of our parents, Mrs. Kenya Marshall, who took it upon herself to post the slur on her Facebook page and make derogatory comments about both the student and school. In part she claimed the slur was directed at her son, which is not true. Mrs. Marshall’s actions violated both a written agreement we make with our parents and rules we have in place to protect our students. Exposure of this child’s behavior in such a public forum put the student at risk of harm and other serious negative consequences. Comments and replies to the post became threatening in nature to both the child depicted in the video and the school. When school administration learned of the post, we requested multiple times that she remove it. She declined. Parents requested that she remove the post. She declined their requests. Eventually she did take it down although it reappeared on her sister’s Facebook page. The school began receiving calls from concerned parents about their child’s safety. Several parents chose to keep their children home from school. The school employed additional security to monitor the situation. The pastor and administration from the school met with Mrs. Marshall and her husband. In that meeting they explained how her actions violated our written Parent/School Partnership agreement in multiple respects and caused great concern to not only the videoed student but also to the school and its other children. Her actions were not acceptable. She was asked to and did withdraw her child from the school. The circumstances of the video were bad enough but made far worse by its publication on social media. Its publication coupled with the unfounded and inflammatory accusations in the post made it impossible to move forward in concert.