LUBBOCK, Texas – Racist bullying has been brought up to administration at Laura Bush Middle School due to a recent Instagram page titled “LBMS Monkeys.” Parents said this isn’t the first instance of racist behavior in the school.
A group of Lubbock-Cooper ISD parents said their kids have been teased because of their skin color, they’ve been called racist slurs and worse.
“They even went to the extent of getting a sound on their phone of a whip when they walk past the kids and they’ll play it in their ear,” said parent Anthony Yharbrough, whose son attends LBMS.
But, the breaking point was when the Instagram page surfaced. It posted pictures of these black students and called them “monkeys.” Thankfully, it was reported and taken down April 23rd.
LBMS Principal Kyle Hendrix addressed the bullying Wednesday.
“It’s appalling and disgusting,” he said. “That is not a reflection of my beliefs, Laura Bush Middle School’s beliefs or Lubbock Cooper ISD’s beliefs. When any situation is brought to our attention, you know, immediately we go into an investigation, find out the facts, and apply the appropriate discipline when necessary.”
He added that once the person responsible for creating the page is discovered, they will receive the maximum punishment available.
“We are known for being a Pirate family and taking care of one another,” he said. “I truly take that to heart each and every day. I love all of these kids.”
However, the parents of the bullied students believe there’s not nearly enough being done about the issue.
“There’s no communication,” parent Tracy Kemp said. “And when I started to reach out to these other parents, all of our stories were the same.”
Shardae McGaha told KLBK News that she and her husband Jimmy had to chase kids off of their property after they heard monkey noises on the other side of their fence.
“I want them to be able to go to school and not have to worry about being bullied, name calling, whipping sounds in their ear,” she said. “We want them to be able to focus on their next test, or their next assignment.”
Based on the conversations they’ve shared with their children and others, they believe this is the unfortunate culture floating around the entire district.
“We’re not saying everybody is racist, but we are saying this racism is still alive,” explained McGaha.
In response to that statement, Hendrix said that’s not something the school or district should be associated with at all.
“Are we a perfect school or perfect district? No, nobody is,” Hendrix said. “We have to always evolve and address needs as they come. We love every child in this district. They’re here to get an education and we want to do everything we can to support that.”
Looking forward, Lubbock-Cooper ISD said in a statement “we have scheduled professional development trainings for Laura Bush Middle School staff members and are in the process of researching speakers to address the Laura Bush Middle School student body regarding matters of racial discrimination.”