A Texas middle school where white students subjected a 12-year-old African American girl to months of racist insults failed to appropriately discipline the offenders or use the opportunity to teach tolerance, the girl’s father said.
The incidents at Tippit Middle School in Georgetown, Texas, which school officials deemed “racially harassing,” according to a report obtained by HuffPost, included students calling the girl an “ape” and a “slave” and pretending to whip her.
“It was horrifying that her friends would say and do these terrible things and not think twice about it,” Robert Ranco, a civil rights lawyer who is the girl’s father, told HuffPost. “We raised our daughter with the understanding that no one deserves to be treated badly by anybody.”
Another student in the same class was accused of saying, “I don’t sit next to apes,” and moved his seat away from the girl.
The father said school administrators also refused to tell him how the students – most of whom are his daughter’s teammates on the school tennis team ― were disciplined. He thinks that students involved in the “substantiated misbehavior” were disciplined in accordance with the school’s code of conduct.
Suzanne Marchman, the school district director of community engagement and communications, told: ““In addition to other disciplinary measures, [the] students involved were counseled regarding their behavior, were required to complete relevant ‘No Place for Hate’ lessons, and complete community service.”
Ranco said he’s not satisfied with that explanation. “Those are words,” he said.
Ranco’s daughter will attend a different school next year.