DENVER (KDVR) — A group of parents is suing the Douglas County School District over claims of racial discrimination, a lawsuit obtained by FOX31 said.
The parents claim their children have been the target of repeated acts of bullying and harassment because of their skin color.
The allegations in the 45-page complaint are disturbing. It states that Black and biracial students at Castle Rock Middle School have been called racially offensive names on a regular basis. It also mentions that they were the targets of violent conversations — like lynchings and shootings.
FOX31 investigated the concerns of one parent in May who claimed her son has been a victim of constant harassment and bullying since 2018. She is one of the parents named in this federal lawsuit, among others.
The lawsuit also describes racial profiling of Black students by teachers and staff, and zeros in on a Snapchat group filled with over 100 students.
Screenshots show that the group was filled with hate speech and threats of violence against Black students.
It also states that harassment got so bad for one student, they were on a safety plan and had to be dismissed from class when the halls were empty for their own protection.
Attorney Crist Whitney, who is representing the families, said the district has had ample time to make changes, but instead swept concerns under the rug.
“This was a hate crime. There was definite violence that was coming along with the discrimination,” Whitney said. “These are young children. Where are they learning this kind of stuff and then why isn’t the school being proactive? They should be taking this very seriously and they were not.”
The lawsuit claims the school board, district and principal violated the Civil Rights Act by depriving students of equal education and protection of the law. And that the district failed to show any understanding of the trauma students endured.
However, the lawsuit does state that the school board recently updated its equity policy.
FOX31’s Talya Cunningham reached out to the district for comment on the lawsuit but hasn’t heard back.