The family of a former student at a Portland middle school is suing the school district after a white substitute teacher allegedly assaulted her black son and called him a racial slur.
The Oregonian reported that Lamar Warren was 13 and an eighth-grader at Portland’s Martin Luther King Jr. School in October 2017 when substitute teacher Bruce Neimann allegedly hit the young black student in the head with the metal part of a clipboard.
According to the lawsuit filed by Warren’s mother, the boy and his friends approached Neimann later in the day because he was “upset and hurt” by the incident.
Attorney Grey Kafoury told The Oregonian that the substitute then called Warren and his friends “the N-word, made derogatory comments about African American families and downplayed what was happening by saying something about how it could have been worse if he’d hit them with a cinder block.”
The attorney also said Neimann spoke of his support for President Donald Trump during the incident.
Harry Esteve, a spokesperson for Portland Public Schools, reportedly could not immediately determine whether Neimann was still employed as a substitute with the district.
The Oregonian noted that a police officer who investigated the alleged incident said the substitute was “surprised” by the report and denied using the racial epithet.
Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Nicole Hermann declined to prosecute Neimann, the report noted, because Warren and the other boys involved — some of whom accused the substitute of hitting them with the clipboard as well — had differing stories about what happened.
According to a memo written by the deputy district attorney, the boys did not have injuries consistent with being hit by a clipboard as they described, videos of “some of the interactions” did not corroborate their claims and the guardian of another boy involved “expressed skepticism” about the nature of his injury.
The report also noted that Neimann had his teaching certification renewed in February 2018 — “four months after the boys claim they were assaulted.”