Family files $6M discrimination lawsuit against school district
Roger Brooks holds a photo of his family. (FOX19)
RIPLEY, OH (FOX19) -
The parents of three bi-racial children say their children have been subject to racial slurs not only by students but by faculty.
Now they want that district to pay.
"You know you find racism everywhere but you never really thought you would be slapped in the face with it like we are getting or like our kids are getting," says Roger Brooks.
Growing up African-American, Brooks says he rarely heard any racial slurs but his biracial nephews and niece are being tormented with the "N" word.
"We feel like we send our kids to school to learn but when they go to school to learn then they are subject to this and when they don't see the teachers backing them then they are just struggling," said Brooks.
In a federal lawsuit filed by the Brooks family against the Ripley Union Lewis Huntington (RULH) School District, they allege four years of harassment and segregation. One example involved the middle school principal using the "N" word on a phone call regarding their children.
When minority students reported they were being viciously harassed based on race on the school bus, RULH segregated the minority students and required them to ride in the front of the bus, the complaint alleges.
The lawsuit says "Defendants aided and encouraged the hostile environment by their actions and their deliberate inaction in failing to stop the behavior."
"There is a lot going on here and the school board and school district is not handling it," said Brooks.
In response to the allegations, Superintendent Linda Naylor said quote "We have received notice of the litigation and the matter has been turned over to our attorney. I have no further comment as this is ongoing litigation."
Brooks says though his family is asking for $6 million in damages, it's not about the money but about equality.
"We just want not only for our kids but for other biracial kids that will be coming up. Let them know that they are not going to be treated this way and it's not going to be tolerated," said Brooks.
An attorney for the Ripley Union Lewis Huntington School District says he is reviewing the complaint and plans to file a response in due time.