The mother of a seventh-grade Trinity Episcopal School Galveston student is suing the school itself, the head of the school along with three former classmates of her son over racist bullying.
The school has a largely white population and costs over $9,000 a year in tuition. The woman is suing because her son, who is black, was harassed and racially discriminated against while he went to the school in 2014-2016.
The suit also states that the school is at fault for her son being harassed by fellow students because of their “lack of corrective action and their indifference to the bullying and racial discrimination” he suffered there.
The boy was enrolled in the Trinity sixth-grade class in 2014 but his mother was forced to remove him in April 2016 when he could not take the racist bullying anymore. The lawsuit blames three students in particular according to court documents.
These students would make “KKK origami” which resembled the hoods that Ku Klux Klan members wear, verbally harass the boy with “KKK beats,” and they even claimed that their fathers were “dragon masters of the KKK.” They bullied the student so much that he did not feel safe at school.
His mother reported what was happening to the head of the school and he told the mother that all three of the students admitted to doing it. Their only punishment was a letter of apology and only one of the students got a one-day suspension.
In May 2016, the bullied boy suffered a breakdown from the abuse he suffered and he spray painted the word “hate” on the walls and the furniture of his home. He was also depressed and now has anxiety attacks, trauma, panic attacks as well as suicidal thoughts, according to court records.
The lawsuit is seeking in excess of $1 million damages for medical expenses, loss of use and enjoyment of life, mental anguish and exemplary damages. The family alleges negligence by the school, as well as the students’ parents. They are also asking for that amount of money in an attempt to deter other racist bullying.
The school’s statement reads, “Trinity Episcopal School Galveston is saddened by the lawsuit that has been filed by the mother of a former 7th grade student against the school, its head, and three of her son’s former classmates.
“The school has policy that prohibits any form of bullying or discrimination. As soon as the school was informed of an issue over a year ago, it addressed it immediately, consistent with its policy. The mother withdrew her child from the school four days later.
“Trinity Episcopal School values diversity and is committed to upholding standards that reflect our mission in Christ. Because this dispute involves children, we will have no further comment on the litigation.”