Black student bullied for "acting white"
RICHLAND COUNTY, S.C. (WACH) —
A midlands school district is under fire after a student said she was physically and verbally abused.
A civil rights lawsuit claims the student was called racial slurs, pushed and tripped because she was academically advanced. Angel O’Neal said the decision to enroll her 11-year-old daughter wasn't easy, after hearing allegations that a gifted black student was the target of violence and racial slurs at Hand Middle School.
"It breaks my heart to know that it was being done," O’Neal said. "And that the parents tried to stand up for the child and that nothing was being done to make it right."
The lawsuit filed against Richland County School District One describes every parent's fear.
"Not only do I not want my child to be the one not doing the bullying," O' Neal said. "But I don't want my child to be the one being bullied."
According to the lawsuit, the student faced both physical and verbal abuse, often being pushed or shoved when walking the hallways. Things got so bad her parents decided to remove her from the school and place her in home school. The complaint claims more than 25 bullying incidents took place inside classrooms, hallways and during recess. It explains students calling her racial names like "oreo" "white girl" and "wanna be white girl."
In 2015, the lawsuit says three females tried pushing her down a flight of stairs. Days later, she was hit with a bookbag, chipping two of her teeth. The girl's parents said they informed district officials, but little to nothing was done.
In an email to WACH FOX news, a district spokeswoman said. "It is our practice to not comment on pending litigations.”
Angel O’Neal just hopes new administration will solve the problem to keep all students safe.
"With a tight range and good parental communications I think that it could be a successful school," O’Neal said. "It used to be a blue ribbon school and I hope that it achieves that status again."