Allowed discrimination and hazing to go on
Editor's note: This article contains language that some readers may find offensive. Reader discretion is advised.
The Lake Oswego School District is being sued for what appears to be racially motivated harassment of a student by their classmates. The lawsuit not only implicates the school district, but State Senator Rob Wagner, who is the Chair of the Lake Oswego School District School Board.
In a letter
dated February 18, 2020, Lake Oswego School District Superintendent Lora De La Cruz was notified by Kevin C. Brague, an attorney with the Brague law firm, describing the racially motivated behavior by the students, the lack of action by the school district, and threatening a lawsuit.
As you may be aware, has been the subject of hazing, harassment, and racist attacks at Lakeridge High School. plays on the junior varsity team. Her teammates have their
own social media accounts in which they ridicule, haze, and harass . These teammates ostracize . They have taken photograph from games and edited into other photos where it appears that is being harmed. These teammates have targeted to such a degree that is ostracized throughout campus and the school day.
The current hazing and harassment resurfaced in January 2020. One school year prior, Principal Desiree Fisher received a complaint from concerning similar hazing/harassing conduct. Principal Fisher did nothing to address this earlier complaint, which endorsed and condoned a hostile education environment. It was foreseeable that one term later, the same hazing and harassing conduct continued.
Lakeridge’s Principal Desiree Fisher, Vice Principal Noah Hurd, and Athletic Director Nathan Stanley have failed to address the students’ self-labeled “Caucasian Invasion” at Lakeridge High School. This is the term the girls’ program uses in hazing and harassing .
Clearly, the message from Lakeridge is to apologize to the perpetrators of hazing, harassment, and racism for the inconvenience of the farce of an inquiry, and then direct the target of hazing, harassment, and racism to shut up.
has begun self-injurious behavior as a result of the hazing, harassment, racism, negligence, and deliberate indifference endorsed and condoned by LOSD at Lakeridge High School.
A claim for damages will be asserted against LOSD.
In a more recent letter to Rob Wagner
, Attorney Michael Fuller from the law firm representing the student, writes:
By failing to act reasonably to settle this claim on your behalf, the insurance adjuster for the school district may not have acted in your best interest.
If you are interested in attending a second mediation with Mr. Jones in hopes of resolving this dispute please let us know. It may be possible to resolve these claims against you personally without paying any money and by agreeing to cooperate as a witness and by assigning any claims you may have against the school district and its insurance adjuster to Mr. Jones.
In a press release, Kim Sordyl, an attorney representing the student recounts many alleged incidents of racism in Lake Oswego School District, including,
“Lake No Negro,” “fucking nigger,” “frizzy hair,” “nigger dog”. These are just some of the popular racist slurs used in Lake Oswego Schools. Swastikas decorate desks. Last year, the girls Varsity basketball team proudly re-branded themselves the “Caucasian Invasion.” White students chant “you can’t read” to a Black athlete. A Black athlete was called a dog and punched in the face by his white coach. When students speak up, they are harassed by peers and staff, called a “narc” and a “snitch,” and get cyberbullied. Those familiar with the pervasive racist culture in certain Oregon schools understand that such treatment can lead to suicide.
"Immediately upon moving to Lake Oswego, Student X was consistently victimized. They were razed about “frizzy hair,” which made its way into a meme by their own teammates. They were cyberbullied, had photos of the, taken without their consent, called “nigger” and told to “sit in the dog crate.”
"In another gripping episode, all-white, all-male officials, including Assistant Principal Noah Hurd, called Student X into the office without notifying Student X’s parent. Student X was terrified. Student X broke down crying. Hurd directed Student X not to talk about the race discrimination to anyone, and warned there would be consequences if they did, saying, “It’s not safe to talk about it.” Student X was later told, “you’re gonna pay for this.”
Wagner told Willamette Week
, "I don't know the context behind the suit." Apparently, this is not true. According to Sordyl, "In September, he received a 28 page letter regarding the facts and claims. At least 2 single spaced pages related to his
actions. For example, after the student sent a complaint of race discrimination to her principal, the principal recommended that the student leave the district. Rob Wagner voted to have the student leave the district. Rob Wagner has an attorney representing him and the district. It's late November and he still doesn't know the context behind the suit?"
Senator Wagner has been vocal about his opposition to "white supremacy" and this incident and his lack of attention to this in an appropriate way, makes his previous statements seem hollow. Other leaders in the district -- including Wagner -- supported pushing the student out of the district.
Shortly after the death of George Floyd, Lake Oswego School District Superintendent sent an email to the community saying
"The ripples of pain and anguish that result from ongoing systemic racism do indeed impact each and every one of us. In LOSD, we are committed to actively contributing to the healing and repair that is desperately needed in response to systemic racism. We strive to be a safe and inclusive community, to disrupt racism, and to support our community of color and all members of our community. We know that the fight against racism, oppression and hate cannot fall by default on our community members of color. We must lead it together. Our district efforts, centered on the LOSD Equity Policy, include intentional efforts of the School Board, our district and school leaders, the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee, and staff and student leaders who are squarely focused on eradicating racism and inequities in our community. We are committed to our efforts to enact anti-racism and social justice in our schools, and to supporting the unique needs of our students of color, including our Black and African American students, as the too frequent victims of racism and racist acts."
Gratefully, we can report that the student is now taking junior and senior year at once, during distance learning, and working 20 hours a week. She is getting straight As.
|Post Date: 2020-11-26 12:52:49||Last Update: 2020-11-28 16:24:32|