Parents of students in the Birmingham, Mich., school district have finally gotten an answer from the administration after saying their children have experienced “blatant racism.”
“The principal and central administrators were not aware of the events until this afternoon and we have begun an immediate investigation,” Birmingham Public Schools said in a statement to Detroit’s Channel 7. “We were very saddened to hear about this incident and want to be clear that this type of behavior, if confirmed through our investigation, is not acceptable.”
The development came after a parent reached out to the local news station about the racism her daughter has endured for more than a year.
“It hurts a lot that we have to come to this,” Maia Nelson, mother of a 12-year-old Berkshire Elementary School student, says. “It hurts.”
Her daughter, Morgan Hough, said people have directly told her that Black people are dumb and called her the N-word. The torment has been so damaging that she has wished she were white.
“I didn’t like my skin, didn’t like my hair, I didn’t like anything about myself,” Hough says.
The racist incidents also have spread online with a viral Snapchat image of a white student with a bag over his head and “KKK” scrawled above him.
Morgan said she thought the boy was her friend.
Another student, 13-year-old Kennedy Banks, also has faced racism from her classmates, which has affected her emotionally. When she attempted to confront the issue, other students brushed it off as a joke.
“When has my race and my ethnicity ever been a joke?” Kennedy says, tearing up. “You’ve never been through the things we have been through. You don’t have to be afraid.”
Nelson said she wants an example to be made of the offending students with an expulsion.