KEARNEY, Mo. — A former Kearney High School student has sued the school district, claiming years of racial harassment and bullying.
The allegations include years of repeated attacks and claims that school leaders turned a blind eye.
Now the former student’s family and attorney are speaking out.
“At a certain point, the family decided he couldn’t go back there. That’s how bad it got,” attorney Dan Curry said.
The lawsuit alleges other students were violent toward this student and also repeatedly called him the n-word. The suit says the alleged harassment happened in and out of school.
The lawsuit filed by the former Kearney High student says the harassment went on for years.
It alleges a fellow swimming teammate told the boy to “swim n***** swim” during a swimming competition. The lawsuit states the student also got messages on different social media apps, just to harass him.
“They display unchecked racial harassment happening in a school in modern times in the Kansas City metropolitan area,” Curry said.
The filing says in 2019 the student was sent a message that said “F*** YOU, C********** N*****” and “THIS IS A WHITE TOWN N***** BOY.”
The lawsuit goes on to lay out alleged harassment time after time in hallways, on the school bus and on social media. The teen said he was attacked simply because he’s Black.
The lawsuit even quotes a threat of a lynching the student: “I hope I see your black a** in tree. Alabama wind chime style.”
It all happened while the family said school leaders did nothing.
“The evidence in this case is going to be clear that this young man was subjected to racial harassment over and over again,” Curry said.
On Tuesday, the student’s mom released a statement to FOX4:
“We want to see the Kearney School District achieve the standards its children and community deserve. And that means stopping racial harassment in its hallways.”
The school district told FOX4 it does not comment on pending legal cases and it will respond in court. The district’s statement also said it’s committed to creating an environment free of discrimination.
The family said the harassment forced the teenager to transfer away from the school. The family’s lawsuit says the harassment caused “emotional distress in the form of anxiety, fear and depression.”