LUBBOCK, Texas — Students and families of the Lubbock-Cooper Independent School District and Slaton ISD, along with the Lubbock NAACP and the Intercultural Development Research Association filed civil right complaints against the school districts. The violation claims were submitted Monday to the US Department of Education.
According to Paige Duggins Clay, Chief Legal Analyst for non-profit civil rights organization IDRA, the complaints were for “Civil Rights alleging violations of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”
In addition to the written complaints, some concerned residents attended a Monday evening Lubbock-Cooper ISD school meeting to speak during the time set aside for public comments.
Both complaints referenced a Disciplinary Alternative Educational Program where students had to change into an “orange jumpsuit” and were “forced to endure other students in DAEP hurling racial slurs on a daily basis.”
The Slaton ISD complaint stated that “a Black Jewish girl with a disability—on track to be valedictorian of her senior class—was later sent to DAEP for 45 days after being forced to defend herself against a white boy who repeatedly called her the “N word,” despite her and other students’ pleas for him to stop.” According to the complaint, Black students at Slaton High School were “daily subjected to their non-Black peers using the “N word” and other racial slurs, bullying, and harassment.”
The complaint said school employees responded to student complaints by “suggesting they should ignore the harassment, because “it’s just a word.””
In response to the complaint, Slaton ISD released a statement to EverythingLubbock.com.
Slaton Independent School District’s Board of Trustees and Administrators take very seriously the prevention of racial discrimination and racial harassment in the district. Slaton ISD has a zero tolerance for racism in any form and, once notified of such, take immediate action with discipline or increasing discipline to stop any such inappropriate actions. Likewise, Slaton ISD Trustees and Administrators take seriously the safety of all students, thoroughly investigating each incident with appropriate consequences. Slaton ISD is working diligently to prevent all forms of discrimination and harassment and will continue to do so.Jim Andrus, Slaton ISD Superintendent
A complaint against Lubbock-Cooper ISD said white students played “sounds of cracking whips” on their phones as Black Students walked through the halls of Laura Bush Middle School. The complaint also said Black students were subjected to racial slurs and told to “go pick cotton.”
Racial bullying and harassment led to physical fights and acts of violence against Black students, according to the complaint against Lubbock-Cooper ISD. The complaint said during some instances, white students followed Black students to bathrooms, extracurricular activities and even their homes. According to the complaint, despite “clear evidence” of racial harassment, “administrators only brought discipline against the Black students involved in fights.”
The complaint against Lubbock-Cooper ISD alleged that Assistant Principal Lance Lewis “directly asked one of the Black students if they ‘picked cotton’ after the student reported that white students told him to pick cotton.” On another occasion, the complaint said Lewis told a Black student that the school ‘already had to deal with these [N-word] situations this year.'”
The complaint also referenced a derogatory Instagram page that contained the LCP logo, as EverythingLubbock.com reported in April.
The Complainants are seeking “accountability” along with “measures to ensure that no child is forced to endure a racist learning environment in Lubbock again.”
SPECIAL NOTE: The links to the two complaints lead to documents with racial terms that some might find difficult to read. Reader discretion is advised for both links.
Read the full complaint against Slaton ISD here.
Read the full complaint against Lubbock-Cooper ISD here.
EverythingLubbock.com reached out to Lubbock Cooper ISD for further comments. Check back for updates.