Black student Brey’anna Brown, victim of racial slurs and broken nose at hands of white male, speaks out

The 15-year-old sophomore said she didn't expect a fight at her Kansas City high school but decided to stand up for herself. Now, she's scared to return.

A 15-year-old girl who was called a racial slur and then suffered a broken nose after being punched by a white male schoolmate said she’s scared to go back to school because she doesn’t know what to expect.

On Wednesday, Nov. 15, Brey’anna Brown, a Black sophomore at Shawnee Mission East High School in Kansas City, Missouri, initially confronted a student who used racial slurs, about which Brown had her say, according to student witnesses and reportage by KSHB 41.

Brown, in an interview with the television station, said afterward, a second student, a 15-year-old white male, told her, “Shut the f–k up.” When she asked him what he said, he continued using slurs, and the two approached each other.

Brey’anna Brown (above) was called racial slurs before a white male teen broke her nose broken at her high school in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo: Screenshot/ 41)

Brown said she didn’t expect the fight to happen, but she chose to stand strong. It left her with a broken nose and a suspension from school. The unidentified teen with whom she fought was charged Wednesday with a level four felony for unlawfully, feloniously and knowingly causing great bodily harm to another person or disfigurement of another person.

“The thought in my head was either I protect myself, or I run away from it, or I get beat up,” she told KSHB, “and I don’t know what else to do, so I chose to stand up for myself.”

Dozens of protesting students walked out of Shawnee Mission East High on Monday, upset with how administrators handled the fight. Some called the attack on Brown a hate crime while maintaining there were ongoing racial problems at the school.

The students chanted, “We want change,” “Have our backs” and “How many more times,” the Kansas City Star reported. They carried signs that read, “We demand action! Protect students of color,” “We don’t feel safe” and “Take action now.”

A countywide “mass protest” showing support for Brown, organized by the Black Student Solidarity Network, is set for today at 5:30 p.m.

“I’m kinda scared to go back,” she admitted, “because I don’t know what to look forward to.”

Linyka Brown, the mother of Brey’anna Brown, discusses the confrontation that resulted in her daughter suffering a broken nose. (Photo: Screenshot/ 41)

Brown’s mother, Linyka, said seeing her daughter hurt was the worst part.

“It hurt my heart for my daughter because I didn’t want her to have to ever go through that,’ she said.

The school, citing student privacy, said it couldn’t discuss how the district would handle the incident.

KSHB 41 also reported the accused male had been in trouble in the past and faced battery and assault charges.

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