NyZeria Neely is a sixth-grader at Concord Intermediate School in Indiana. She’s black; that shouldn’t make a difference but it does.
NyZeria is the only black student in her high-ability class at Concord, a school where 10% of students, and 2% of school staff are black so she’s, you know, different. And, because of that difference, she found herself the target of racist threats.
She was actually called a “n****r” by a girl in her class, and when she told her parents, and they told school administrators, the school took no action. Three weeks later, NyZeria opened her locker to find a threatening letter warning her to “Watch your back.”
And then she got this note:
“N****rs don’t belong!!!”
Now, after telling her parents about the first incident and seeing the school do nothing about it, NyZeria wasn’t sure if she should tell anyone about these threats. In the end, she decided to take a photo of the note and show it to school principal Chad Stamm, who looked at the picture, read the note and said:
“Don’t worry. It’s just words.”
Now, I have posted twice this week, and far too many times in the past to count, of students who were harassed and bullied for any reason from being fat or gay or black or whatever, and who took their own lives, to listen to one more school administrator tell a bullied, threatened student to ‘buck up, it’s only words.’
Luckily, NyZeria, much smarter than her principal, and her parents, took their complaints to the school’s Superintendent Wayne Stubbs, who disagreed with Principal Stamm, saying the letter was unacceptable and promised it would be treated as a serious security threat.
Whoosh, glad that’s over, right? Except it isn’t; the only action taken by the school district in response was to issue an automated alert to parents that harassment would not be tolerated.
Needless to say, NyZeria’s parents were not satisfied.
“They have taken it lightly. It’s too severe of a case to ignore something like this. They don’t want to hear me.” — Gina Neely
And so the Neely’s took their own approach and showed up at the schools carrying signs that read, “STOP BULLYING OUR CHILDREN” and the school administrators, rather than speaking with the Neely’s, called in the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department to issue a no-trespass order against them.
Their child is bullied and threatened, and the parents are banned from the school.
The Neely’s have pulled NyZeria and her three siblings from the school because they no faith their children will be safe at Concord Intermediate School.
I wonder how the school might have reacted if, say, it had been a white child, or if, god forbid, NyZeria had killed herself rather than face one more threatening note at school.
As I said, I’m sick and tired of hearing about bullied kids taking their own lives and schools doing little or nothing to protect them, but in the case of this school , they were more concerned about protecting themselves that NyZeria Neely, and that’s the most disgusting thing of all.