A Michigan mother said her teenage son was harassed and beaten after speaking out against racist bullies.
Audra Granger said her 15-year-old son, who is white, stood up against a racist classmate in October at Harper Creek High School during a lunchroom discussion about NFL protests, reported the Battle Creek Enquirer.
A classmate used a racial slur during the debate and said black people should leave the United States, and Granger’s son said his language was unacceptable.
Granger said her son was assaulted twice after the confrontation, and she said other students recorded video of one attack.
She transferred the teen Oct. 5 to Battle Creek Central High School, where her husband is the varsity football coach.
Granger said she and her son are especially sensitive to racism after taking Brandon Randle, who now plays football at Michigan State University, into their family two years ago.
“We are a diverse family,” Granger said. “I have a black son. He has a black brother so, yes, we are very sensitive to racial slurs.”
The Grangers met with Harper Creek principal Dennis Anthony and provided a list of students using racial slurs, and she said the administrator suggested sometimes change is better.
Granger said the Michigan High School Athletic Association responded faster to her request to transfer the teen’s athletic eligibility than Harper Creek did to her concerns about racist bullies.
She eventually received a letter from district officials in November stating that action had been taken to correct the situation, but no specifics were offered.
The principal declined comment, but the superintendent issued a statement.
“We recognize the need to immerse ourselves in learning about the systematic racism that exists in our organization, respond by eliminating district policies, practices and messaging that reinforce or fails to eliminate disparities of power, access, achievement and opportunity between races and target groups,” said superintendent Rob Ridgeway.