Three African American Students Get $450K from WA State School District in Racial Discrimination Settlement

students doing class work.
students doing class work.

*In a true case of hit ’em where it hurts, three African American students and their families have been awarded $450,000 in a racial discrimination settlement by the University Place School District. The students,  Jamal Welch, Elijah West and Tyrell Wells, filed the suit in 2015, and say they were the constant targets of name-calling and slander by both students and teachers. When their parents complained to school authorities, they were brushed off.

According to Your Black World, the students were enrolled in Curtis High School when the incidents occurred. Now that they are all over the age of 18, they have left the school district.

Wells admits that as a result of the treatment, he struggles with anxiety and stress. 

“While before I was easygoing and trusting of people, now I find that I hang back and analyze people before trusting them,” he said according to documents. “I also am more defensive than I used to be, and feel like I need to justify or explain who I am since I learned at Curtis that people have stereotypes and biases against me.”

In legal documents Wells described how he told a teacher about someone writing the n-word on his desk.

“As time went on, he would erase the slur, then someone would re-write it,” documents claim.

Elijah West, another one of the three students, claims it was the discrimination of teachers, who would say his assignments were missing — when they were not. In the documents he says that his mother would scan all of his work prior to him handing it in, but the teacher would later claim the work had been missing.
The students’ attorneys, through court documents, say that the three boys had to focus “on surviving each and every school day without having a mental or emotional reaction.”
 

The award money is collected from a statewide risk pool, made up of member school districts and other educational organizations.

Of course the district says the award is not meant to admit to any kind of guilt by Curtis High School. So I guess, since we were all born just yesterday. that just means it is being given out of the kindness of their hearts.

The News Tribune reports that the settlement is designed with the stipulation that no one involved in the case can speak on the details with the media.

 
That’s OK. We’ve heard enough. As you were.

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