LUBBOCK, Texas — On Monday, EverythingLubbock.com broke the story that students and families from the Lubbock-Cooper ISD and Slaton ISD filed civil right complaints against the school districts alongside the Lubbock NAACP and the Intercultural Development Research Association. By Thursday, the story made national news.
The parent of a student from Roosevelt ISD filed a federal complaint against the district for racial discrimination by school officials. The Texas Tribune stated in an article, “There, a mother took her daughter out of school after she claims school officials targeted her child for undue disciplinary actions.”
The incident resembled another case, this one within Slaton ISD, which NBC reported and focused on 17-year-old high school student Autumn Roberson. According to the article, Roberson asked a male student four days in a row to “stop saying the N-word in class.” NBC also said, “…According to Autumn and a half-dozen other students later interviewed by the school principal, the boy had disregarded her pleas.”
According to the article, Roberson “snapped” and attacked the other student, an incident caught in a roughly 30-second video recorded by another student. The article stated “Slaton administrators sentenced her to 45 days in an alternative school for students with severe disciplinary problems…”
In the article from the Texas Tribune, it said that the parent of a student from Hutchinson Middle School “alleged a student asked peers to sign a sheet of paper after calling for violence against Jewish people… Administrators determined there was not an imminent threat to students and did not send out an email informing the public, despite being asked to do so by a Jewish parent.”
According to the article, Lubbock ISD Superintendent Kathy Rollo told the Tribune that the district “does not condone or permit racism, intolerance, or discrimination in any form, and that school leaders addressed the situation with the involved students and parents.”
Kathy Rollo said in a statement to EverythingLubbock.com, “While I do not believe the actions of a single student reflect the culture of an entire campus, we have an obligation to confront any language or behavior that impacts our students’ ability to feel safe, connected, and cared for at school. While there is no question these actions were thoughtless and hurtful, we all have opportunities to learn and grow from our mistakes.”
Lubbock ISD Board of Trustees President, Zach Brady also released a statement to EverythingLubbock.com, saying in part, “There is no place in Lubbock ISD for threats of violence against any person or any group of people. That sort of behavior is simply unacceptable and will be treated as such.”
EverythingLubbock.com first began reporting claims of racism within the school districts back in April, after a derogatory Instagram page aimed towards black students within Lubbock-Cooper ISD was discovered.
The article from the Texas Tribune made mention of the Instagram page, “Lubbock-Cooper ISD – which includes Laura Bush Middle School, where the Instagram account was based – declined to comment on the federal lawsuit.”
A statement from Lubbock-Cooper ISD to EverythingLubbock.com reads in part, “racism has no place at any school within Lubbock-Cooper ISD. It is not a reflection of our beliefs as a [school,] and it completely contradicts the virtues we wish to instill in our students. It is not now, has never been, and will not ever be who we are.”
EverythingLubbock.com reached out to Slaton ISD and Roosevelt ISD for comment. Check back for updates.