Two black students bullied for “acting white” by other blacks won a settlement from their South Carolina school district after they charged the school allowed a racially hostile educational environment. Because the abuse was motivated by their race, the claimants argued they were victims of discrimination, even though the bullies were also black. The district paid $50,000 apiece to the two students, who live in the same household, and $25,000 apiece to two family members for a $150,000 total, reports South Carolina Lawyers Weekly.
The elementary student claimed school officials ignored her complaints of “racial and sexual slurs” that escalated to physical threats and assaults. After several months, she left school and was homeschooled for the rest of the year.
The suit also claimed that a school official and a district official, either individually or together, “retaliated” against the student by causing the state Department of Social Services to launch an abuse-and-neglect investigation of the plaintiffs and their household. The complaint said DSS determined the investigation, which included a strip search of the student, was unfounded.
The girl’s uncle, a high school student, testified that he didn’t fit in because his family was seen as “churchy,” “upright” and eager for education. In rural Williamson County, that’s not OK for blacks, he said.
“You see, it’s a crime to act white, or it’s a crime to be white,” the uncle testified.
It’s not new for school districts to be sued for tolerating bullying, but this may be the first successful claim of racial discrimination when only one race is involved, reports the Lawyers Weekly.
Via Volokh Conspiracy.