KC mother claims superintendent failed to protect twins from bullying


Tamara Keith says her twin daughters haven’t been in school for more than a year after being harassed, threatened and assaulted.

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There are more accusations against the outgoing superintendent of the Hickman Mills School District.

FOX 4 News has learned that a parent is suing the school district, accusing Dennis Carpenter of failing to protect two students from bullying.

Tamara Keith says her twin daughters haven’t been in school for more than a year after being harassed, threatened and assaulted by eight other girls at Ruskin High School.

A video taken by a Ruskin student one year ago shows Keith’s daughter, Mellisah, fighting in the hallway as she was on her way to class.

Word of the threatened fight had spread on social media and plenty of students were on hand to capture the action on their cellphones.

The girl’s mother says no security or administrators were present, even though the twins went to the assistant principal’s office beforehand and asked for an escort to class.

“I was outraged,” Keith said. “I was outraged because it’s almost like a third-world country. You send your children to go get educated, not to have to fight. Not to have to be harassed. Not to have to be intimidated, and that’s all that I saw. I was outdone that there was no administrator, no security, nobody to come step in until the fight was in full swing.”

Two weeks prior to the fight Keith filed on complaint with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights, which later informed her she had the right to sue under the state’s Human Rights Act.

Keith provided photos of injuries her daughters suffered on previous occasions, when she took the girls to the hospital after they were beaten and battered at school.

Keith also obtained court orders of protection, prohibiting the girls who were threatening her twins from coming within 100 feet of her daughters, even while at school. She claims school administrators ignored those restraining orders.

Instead, Keith says the district expelled her daughters, who she claims had good academic records, and five of the other girls, transferring them all to an alternative school, which she says did not solve anything.

The Hickman Mills School District has not yet responded to FOX 4’s request for comment on the suit’s claims.

A hearing on the lawsuit is scheduled for February.

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