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Parents of Detroit Student File $150-Million Racial Discrimination Suit Against School District

As a result of ongoing racism and horrific death threats within a suburban Detroit school, the parents of a Black student have decided to strike back, filing a massive $150-million lawsuit against the district on behalf of their daughter and other Black students targeted with the abuse.

Corey Williams of the Associated Press reported about the federal lawsuit filed on Thursday, Nov. 18, in Detroit by Cedric McCarrall and Carmen Davidson-McCarrall. The lawsuit also alleges that a white teacher at Bloomfield Hills High School “placed a noose around the neck of a Black doll and dropped it over a railing” for a “science project.”

According to Williams, “the Associated Press left voicemails and emails on Friday [Nov. 19] seeking comment from the district superintendent and the high school principal. Both are named as defendants in the lawsuit.”

In a press conference, Cedric McCarrall told reporters that he hoped the lawsuit would attain class-action status. As recently as last week, racial slurs were still being scrawled on restroom walls and posted on social media. The problem has become so severe the students in the mostly white school north of Detroit even staged a protest walkout in response to the issue and support of their Black peers.

Leonard Mungo, the McCarralls’ attorney, said, “you cannot take what has been displayed at that school … as anything other than death threats, and these are threats to kill and eliminate African Americans.”

Although the school operated virtually last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person classes are back in session this academic year, making the situation especially hard for McCarrall’s daughter.

“How can you study, how can you take tests, how can you go about your day as a child, as a student when you have someone up there saying they want you dead?” he said. “When I close my eyes, I’m hearing what my parents and what my grandparents went through in the Jim Crow South.”

 

Related: For more recent diversity and inclusion news, click here.

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