The family of a former student at a Madison, Wisconsin parochial high school has filed a lawsuit against the school and its two top administrators over claims of unchecked racial harassment, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Blake Broadnax, an African-American student, and his parents, Keith and Rena, allege that Edgewood High School, its president Michael Elliott, and its principal Robert Growney, failed to discipline students whose racial taunts caused Broadnax to leave the school in December 2013, the report says.
From 2011 through December 2013, Broadnax was subject to repeated racial harassment and bullying, the Sentinel writes. In many cases, the defendants listed above were made aware of the incidents, but failed to take action.
These ranged from students calling Broadnax a slave to the n-word, according to the Sentinel:
– When a teacher in Broadnax’s freshman year religion class asked someone to run an errand for her, a student suggested Broadnax should do it because he was “the slave.” Edgewood claimed to have suspended the student and held a mediation between Broadnax and the student, but the lawsuit alleges no punishment was dealt out.
– In his sophomore speech class, a peer looking over Broadnax’s paper wrote and referred to Broadnax by the N-word several times in his feedback. The lawsuit contends the student was not disciplined because he had already secured a college scholarship and the paper was unavailable since the student had graduated.
– In a sophomore science class, Broadnax was told by a female student to “stop acting black” and “ghetto.” After Broadnax told the student her comments were inappropriate, the teacher threatened to send Broadnax to the principal’s office. Broadnax asked if he could go to the office to report the incident, but the teacher told him to sit down.
The student suffered from depression as a result, according to the lawsuit.
Edgewood officials defended their responses, saying the claims of the lawsuit are without merit.
“We firmly believe that Edgewood High School faculty and staff acted promptly and appropriately at all times in addressing and taking action on the matters that were brought to our attention. We talked with the Broadnax family after each reported incident was addressed, and they stated that they were satisfied with the steps that were taken.”
The bullying forced Broadnax and his family to move to Fishers, Ind. The student is set to graduate from a public high school in the area later this year.
SOURCE: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty