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Westchester Students File Civil Rights Lawsuit Against Mamaroneck Union Free School District For Failing to Address Egregious Racial Harassment

On Wednesday, May 13th, A.A – a 15-year-old African-American teenager—and his 13-year-old sister, B.A., filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Mamaroneck Union Free School District, Mamaroneck High School, and their employees for their indifference to years of racial harassment. The lawsuit (filed anonymously to protect the children’s privacy), alleges school administrators took inadequate steps to ameliorate pervasive racism.

The Mamaroneck Union Free School District has been the subject of multiple investigations by state and federal agencies for racial discrimination and animosity—including by the federal Office of Civil Rights and the State Education Department. Despite these investigations and numerous pleas from parents at School Board and Town Hall meetings, the lawsuit alleges the Defendants have taken insufficient steps to address the District’s severe racism problem.

After years of abuse, when he was thirteen, A.A. asked his Mamaroneck Middle School guidance counselor: “How many times is enough for the N-word to be mentioned?” The lawsuit recounts a litany of racial harassment spanning nearly a decade, including an incident in B.A.’s second-grade when a student shouted, “Africans Are Annoying!” as other students laughed. In seventh grade, one of A.A.’s classmates mimicked whipping another, and said: “I’m whipping you like a n***r.” In ninth grade, A.A.’s classmates ask him if he was a “BBC,” meaning “big black c**k.” Other classmates placed microscope covers over their heads during Biology class, stating that they were in the KKK and telling A.A. that he could not join.

The family reported incident after incident, but the lawsuit alleges that administrators failed to take adequate steps to address the abuse. Instead, the case argues, they offered platitudes about diversity, claimed students were going through phases, or insisted those students were otherwise good people.

O. Andrew F. Wilson, of Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP, said: “Racism in our schools is intolerable. And superficial efforts to address systemic problems are not enough. We must hold our educators responsible not only to act, but to act effectively.”

“What happened to A.A. and B.A. should never happen to any child. Racist abuse is impermissible everywhere, but it is especially traumatic in schools, where young children like A.A. and B.A. internalize the cruel words of their peers. Defendants’ inexplicable choice to accept rampant bigotry is not just unlawful—it is immoral,” said ECBA attorney Emma L. Freeman.

A.A. and B.A. are represented by ECBA attorneys Andrew Wilson and Emma L. Freeman.  You can read a copy of the Complaint below.

AA-Mamaroneck (00421444x9CCC2) by BLACK WESTCHESTER MAGAZINE on Scribd

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About AJ Woodson (2279 Articles)
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company. AJ is a Father, Brother, Author, Writer, Journalism Fellow, Rapper, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian and A Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale, Sonicnet.com, Launch.com, Rolling Out Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine and several others.

4 Comments on Westchester Students File Civil Rights Lawsuit Against Mamaroneck Union Free School District For Failing to Address Egregious Racial Harassment

  1. Johnathan Hoarder // June 3, 2020 at 9:57 AM //

    Sounds like the typical verbal bullying any kid would face. Are we going to sit here and act like white students don’t face racial abuse in schools across the country? I know I did. Are we going to sit here and act as if any one of us wasn’t abused and targeted for any of our genetically-inherited physical features? I know I did. They’re WORDS. What would you like school administrators to do, hold a hate crime tribunal every time a kid curses or teases? Would you like them to treat teasing of black students different than teasing and bullying of other students? Is bullying a black child more sacred than bullying a white child?

    The reality is that you are litigating normal childhood misbehavior and transforming it into something else using terms like “systemic racism.” Bullying is wrong, so should a school district pay 5 million dollars because it happens? A big joke played on tax-payers to fill the pockets of litigious parents. Ask Jewish children if they’ve ever been teased, ask white students if they’ve ever been teased for their skin color, ask Asian students if they’ve ever been teased. They have been, also for their race. Should they join your multi-million dollar lawsuit?

    This is the thanks that good, hard working families from Mamaroneck get for opening their doors to these kids: A multi-million dollar surcharge on their education budget, because a few black parents are so obsessed with race that they think the only solution is to sue every school district into the ground to “solve” it. When will the madness end? When will hard-working families say “Enough is Enough.”

    • You and your ridiculous comments are why we are protesting right now due to the murder of George Floyd and countless others. The students comments were not every day comments that students make, they were racist comments so let’s call them for what they are. If they are behaving this way now, we can only imagine how they will behave when they become adults. Oh, I know. They will become police officers who believe that they are less than and be treated inhumane and will be murdered for everyone to see.

      I will continue to pray for you and others that share the views that you have exhibited in your response.

  2. Michael Ward // May 24, 2020 at 12:55 PM //

    So disturbing and disgusting that this could be allowed to happen!! I feel so horrible for those siblings to have endured such hatred. To think I actually applied to that school district. Let the firing begin!!

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