A Christian school in Colorado has allegedly nurtured a culture of racism for decades and has begun to face the consequences.
Gregg Tucker, a former teacher and chaplain at Faith Christian Academy in Arvada, recently filed federal and state discrimination complaints against the school, according to Denver7, an ABC News affiliate. The school fired Tucker in March, shortly after he held a panel at the school on race and faith.
There were several “disturbing instances of racism” at Faith Academy, Tucker, who is white, wrote in a statement. He and his 7-year-old daughter, who is Black, were the target of one of the multiple incidents that have gone unchecked by school officials for decades.
In one instance of racial intimidation, a student walked through a hallway wearing a “KKK outfit” and put a toy gun “to a minority student’s head,” according to a group of students, alumni and parents who provided nearly 40 statements about racism at the school.
“I felt it was important that we aggressively address these instances, which I suggested to the superintendent and principal both in a meeting and via e-mail,” Tucker added. “Their response was muted.”
Faith Christian Academy was far from alone with this type of accusation. Christian schools are often not havens from the rampant racial bullying found at other schools across the nation. A sudden increase in these cases has been blamed on the so-called Trump effect.
In May 2017, a Black family filed a lawsuit against Trinity Episcopal School in Galveston, Texas, after their son experienced racist bullying and the school gave the offenders just a slap on the wrist, according to the Huffington Post. In one instance, three white students gave the African-American child pieces of origami fashioned to look like KKK hoods.
Also last year, a Black family in New Jersey called the police after someone at Gloucester County Christian School slipped notes with racial slurs into their child’s locker, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Officials at Faith Christian Academy denied firing Tucker, claiming instead that his decision to leave was mutual. However, Tucker rejected that version, Denver7 said. The school has 30 days to respond to his discrimination complaints.