“He said he would sell me into slavery, if I didn’t do what he said, and then he started making little jingles about slavery,” said LaShanti Duncan.
That’s the type of harassment Duncan and Imani Wortham said that they had to endure each day in school from a bully at Horizon Christian High School in Indiana. They said a male student bullied them because of the color of their skin.
During another confrontation, the student, who has not been identified, blurted out “If the school ever gets shot up, you’ll be the first one to get shot,” the girls told WRTV.
Wortham’s parents said they started noticing she was avoiding going to school, so they pressed their daughter to find out what was causing her apprehension.
Neither of the girls reported him immediately, and was clearly having their own internal struggles.
“Silence is killing our young people,” Alexander Wortham, Imani’s father, told the news channel. “People not dealing with the issue. Not dealing with the problem and I think for us, as parents, enough is enough.
Last week, McKenzie Adams, a nine-year-old Black girl in Alabama committed suicide after being bullied by her fourth-grade classmates.
“And a lot of it was race, some of the student bullies would say to her ‘why you riding with white people you’re Black, you’re ugly. You should just die,'” McKenzie’s mother, Jasmine Adams, said in an interview.
When Wortham and Duncan both came clean about another student bullying them on a regular basis, the school got involved. A school administrator told the parents in an email that the student had been suspended. However, the young boy was back in class within a week.
Their parents are outraged after the bully was allowed back into school after such a short suspension. The girls stayed home all last week because they were not comfortable returning to class.
“We should be able to go to school and not feel threatened, scared or having to be on edge the whole time,” Imani told WRTV.
Both families agreed that the school must take a more aggressive strategy when it comes to addressing social issues related to race. The girls’ parents are hoping that bringing in experts on race relations could help.