A group of high school Democrats in South Dakota have filed an official complaint with the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Dept. of Education claiming their annual Unity Week events are under a "coordinated" attack by pro-Trump MAGA supporting students, and the school administration has refused to do anything to stop the bullying and targeted harassment.
South Dakota High School Democrats, representing students at Aberdeen Central High School, charge there is a "coordinated effort by certain students to target, harass, and bully those students celebrating the week." In their complaint they also say "racist and homophobic slurs are openly spouted" at students, and there are images of these being spread on social media.
"They actively seek to target and harass the students while bringing their 'religious' and hateful beliefs to the forefront of student life," the letter reads.
"The administration reportedly does 'nothing' in response to these actions," they say, charging that the Aberdeen School District has allowed the "targeted harassment" to "go unrestrained."
According to one student, the complaint reads, "this coordinated harassment campaign happens every year."
BREAKING: After talking with numerous students from the school, we have deemed it appropriate to file a complaint with the Department of Education Civil Rights Division. pic.twitter.com/C9roDmEluK
— SDHSD (@SoDakHSDems) May 7, 2021
NCRM has not verified any of these images below but KELO News reports Friday evening: "Social media posts from Central High School in Aberdeen are getting a lot of attention. The posts include pictures of students who appear to be against a 'Unity Week' the school was hosting."
The social media posts include screenshots from Snapchat with messages against the week. One of the screenshots encourages students to carry a Bible with them around school and to not talk to anyone participating in the dress up days. It goes on to say 'God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve or Eve and Bri and Adam and tractor.'
Another screenshot appears to feature students holding Trump flags with expletive text over the picture that is anti-LGBTQ.
Here is one tweet that appears to represent some of what the complaint alleges:
Hate has no place in our state. The Aberdeen school district needs to take appropriate actions immediately. https://t.co/0MSmRX7ZGp
— SDHSD (@SoDakHSDems) May 7, 2021
On TikTok a video describes what LGBTQ and minority students are facing this week. The young woman, who says she is a student at Aberdeen Central High School, says some of the students participating in the unity week's events were told to go kill themselves. Some students were pushed down stairs, and the anti-LGBTQ students "blocked the entrance to the school," while yelling expletives.
"The school board has done nothing about this," she says. "This is absolutely repulsive."
@dollop.of.daisyplease don't let this video get taken down. This needs to be heard #fyp#spreadtheword#viral#important#lgbtqplus#translivesmatter#share#blowthisup♬ original sound - Dollop.of.Daisy
Aberdeen News adds that the schools superintendent sent parents a letter saying appropriate disciplinary action has been taken, but refusing to say what that is, who the students are. The letter appears to suggest parents should counsel their children but the situation is over.
Based on the students' letter and social media posts it's clear they do not believe it is.