School refused to stop bullying of Black teen who 'wanted to become white' so it would stop: lawsuit

On Wednesday, WDIV reported that a Black family is suing the Croswell-Lexington School District in Michigan for failing to intervene against a pattern of racist abuse and harassment against their daughter.

"They’re claiming their Black daughter was repeatedly harassed and threatened because of her skin color," reported Mara MacDonald and Brandon Carr. "'She begged me, begged me to turn white,' said her mother, April Malick. 'It was heartbreaking.' That was the breaking point for April and Rob Malick. Their 14-year-old adopted daughter, who is Black, had been subjected to months of harassment and threats of violence at Croswell-Lexington High School, according to a federal lawsuit filed against the district."

The lawsuit alleges that several students relentlessly called their daughter the N-word, told her to "go back to the plantation and pick cotton," and made fun of her hair, threatening to "rip [her] wig off." It also alleges that one fellow girl showed up to school wearing a Confederate battle flag cape, and was not disciplined for it.

"The family says it wasn’t all the students at Croswell-Lexington who were hostile but enough that the harassment was pervasive and persistent," said the report. "'In the beginning, they were like, ‘yeah, let’s get this done; we’re gonna investigate,'' said Rob Malick. "Yet as each progressive issue popped up, Malick says the responses became terse. 'You have adults standing by and not taking action,' said Attorney Deborah Gordon. That is the crux of a federal lawsuit filed by Gordon on behalf of the Malick family."

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Racist culture in schools has become an increased focus of national attention in recent years; another lawsuit in Jacksonville, Florida alleges that a teacher called a student the N-word and justified it by saying that "Black people are beneath white people."

This comes as Republicans around the country try to pass laws limiting how teachers can even educate children on racial issues, including one new law in Florida that forbids any lesson that would cause white students "discomfort" based on race.

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