The mothers of the students, Lakeisha Hamilton and Tauretta McCray, recently filed federal civil rights lawsuits against Effingham County School District on behalf of their children, according to Georgia Public Broadcasting.
The lawsuit alleges that officials at Effingham County High School and Effingham College & Career Academy repeatedly ignored reports of racial intimidation and discrimination.
“The school permits faculty to display paraphernalia supporting former President Donald Trump,” the lawsuit states. “However, the school has expressly prohibited Plaintiffs from wearing Black Lives Matter messaging because it is disruptive and controversial.”
According to the suit, a Black student was once banned from entering a football game for wearing a Black Lives Matter shirt, yet a white student went unpunished for wearing a shirt that read “Stomp on My Flag; I’ll Stomp Your A**” at the same event. School officials allegedly told Black students that Black Lives Matter messaging was disruptive, while the Confederate flag represents “heritage not hate,” per GPB.
In another instance, a white student wore “a full Hitler costume during spirit week after obtaining prior approval from a teacher,” according to suit. Two students also allegedly wrote racial slurs on lockers in a baseball locker room and another hung a noose in a football locker room.
The plaintiffs believe Effingham County School District violated the Civil Rights Act and the First and 14th Amendments. The suit names Yancy Ford, the Effingham County School District superintendent, and five board members as defendants and is seeking monetary compensation along with the students’ disciplinary records to be cleared.
“Defendants have been aware of a pervasive and consistent pattern of peer-to-peer harassment and discrimination,” the lawsuit states. “Yet they failed to prevent or address the peer-to-peer racial harassment that was sufficiently serious as to create a hostile environment; that is, harassment that denies or limits a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from school.”
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