Despite the efforts of many, our nation is still affected by discrimination. While that is a sad fact that you or I may not be able to control, we should be able to send our children to school with the faith that they won’t be targeted because of their race, color, or national origin. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 mandates, “no person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination” in the context of academic programs, counseling and guidance, grading, classroom assignments, physical education, or athletics.
In Minnesota, an African-American student from Red Wing High School filed a Title VI claim against her school district. In 2009, during homecoming week, the students at Red Wing were encouraged to dress according to a different theme each day. On Wednesday of that week, the theme was “Wigger Day,” which refers to the term describing “white youth who affect the speech patterns, fashion and other manifestations of black youth.” 60-70 students were said to have worn low-riding pants, ‘doo rags,’ and baseball caps tilted to the side. The student that filed the claim, Quera Pruitt, and her mother complained to the school officials that the day was offensive and created a racially hostile environment.
The school failed to take action to prevent or correct the racial discrimination from manifesting. The court ruled that Pruitt had a valid Title VI claim because the school officials were “deliberately indifferent to known acts of discrimination, which occurred under its control.”
Discrimination and harassment can affect your child’s right to feel safe at school and can harm their educational development. Your child’s school district has the responsibility to protect their constitutional right not to be discriminated because of their race, color, or national origin. If you feel that your child has been subjected to racial discrimination while at school, you may have a valid Title VI claim. If your child has suffered significant damages because of the discrimination, I recommend that you call an experienced School Injury attorney today. Call (480)-648-8928 to schedule a FREE consultation with attorney, Jared Everton.