A 2015 racial discrimination lawsuit was settled between the University Place School District in Washington state and three African-American students for a total of $450,000, The News Tribune reports.
The three students—Jamal Welch, Elijah West and Tyrell Wells—are now over 18 and out of the school district. Two years ago, their families filed the suit, which alleged that the trio were subjected to racial slurs, discriminatory grading and other types of harassment, the Tacoma newspaper reported.
According to the suit, Curtis High School was an unwelcoming environment, where just 10 percent of the students enrolled are Black. Wells said he wanted to transfer to Curtis because of its reputation for preparing students for college. Instead he became the target of racists, and each day became a struggle.
In court documents Wells stated that he told a teacher when someone wrote a racial epithet on his desk. Whenever he erased it, someone would rewrite the slur. In another incident, he said a teacher, who consistently gave him unfairly low grades, commented in class that Wells is likely to commit a crime because he’s Black.
Curtis wrote a statement about how those and other incidents affected him, via The News Tribune:
“To this day, I have lingering stress and anxiety from my Curtis experience. While before I was easygoing and trusting of people, now I find that I hang back and analyze people before trusting them. I also am more defensive than I used to be, and feel like I need to justify or explain who I am since I learned at Curtis that people have stereotypes and biases against me.”
Under terms of the settlement, the school district does not admit liability. The outlet said the district denied most of the allegations.
SOURCE: The News Tribune
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