Texas

The Lubbock-Cooper ISD passed a resolution condemning racist bullying in schools. Parents say it’s a publicity stunt.

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LUBBOK – Weeks after federal civil rights a complaint was filed against the Lubbock-Cooper ISD for inaction on racist bullying, the county board of trustees passed a resolution condemning racism in a special meeting on Thursday.

Tracey Kemp is the mother involved in filing the application and was thrilled to see the bullying issue finally resolved—nearly nine months after she filed her original complaint with the county.

“I’m very disappointed that it took national media coverage, bad press and angry parents,” Kemp said Thursday.

The complaint filed by the parents against the district alleges that their children face harassment and violence on a daily basis. intimidation from peers at Laura Bush High School in Lubbock. According to the statement, black students were subjected to derogatory language and racial slurs both online and in person, as well as the sound of cracking whips or monkey noises as students walked through the hallways.

[West Texas parents are suing their schools over racism as others demand action over antisemitic bullying]

The persecution eventually escalated into violence. Kemp’s 15-year-old son was the target of attacks from classmates. In response, she and other parents turned over the evidence to school officials and created a QR code so students could quickly report bullying.

However, parents say school authorities will take no action to end the bullying or punish students despite their “zero tolerance” stance. Black students involved in fights were punished.

Znia Lewis was bullied while in high school last year and is now a freshman at Lubbock-Cooper High School. At a crowded board meeting on Thursday, she asked the board what their definition of zero tolerance was, but her question was met with silence.

Phyllis Gant, a member of the Lubbock NAACP, then asked the board if they could answer her.

“We can, but we don’t have to,” said Paul Ehlers, president of the board. “We’ll let the statement stand for itself.”

Milton Lee, President of Lubbock’s NAACP, stressed to the board that they could still fix the problem.

“It’s not a big problem that can’t be solved,” Li said. “You already have a plan, that is, zero tolerance. All we have to do is get together and say, “We’re going to follow this, whoever it is.”

Vice President Daniel Castro read out a multi-page resolution, most of which dealt with the county’s version of last year’s events. This includes their position that Superintendent Keith Bryant has met with the families involved and that no additional racially motivated incidents have been reported to the county.

“Lies,” Kemp said to both of them.

Castro went on to read the resolution, which stated that the board of trustees condemned any racially motivated behavior, action, or speech. The resolution commits to support all actions aimed at ending racism and discrimination among students.

“The Lubbock-Cooper Independent School Board of Regents is committed to maintaining a safe and orderly learning environment for students of all races, cultures and nationalities,” the resolution said.

Even though the decision was made, the parents said after the meeting that it wasn’t enough and the district didn’t try to make meaningful changes.

“They didn’t say anything about solving this problem,” said Sharde MakGaha, Zneeeee’s mother. “And we know for sure that we will not be able to solve this problem for our children in the near future. But we have other kids growing up who will go to these schools, so we just want to completely eliminate racism.”

Kemp called it a publicity stunt.

“We want them to come in and save the day,” Kemp said. “I don’t know why it’s so hard to sit down and talk to families.”

Znia was full of hope at the beginning of the meeting, but by the end of this mood began to wane. The 15-year-old says she doesn’t feel safe at school but knows she has to go back.

“It breaks my heart to know that I have to come back and this will be repeated because that is what is happening,” Znia said.

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