Kearney, Missouri—‘This is a white town’– KC area family sues school district after racism


BIG PICTURE

✏️: A Black male student at Kearney High School was regularly subjected to white classmates hurling racial slurs, making monkey sounds and sending him threatening messages, according to a lawsuit filed against the school district this month.

⚖️: The Kansas Supreme Court held oral arguments in a lawsuit challenging the GOP-drawn congressional map, which divides Wyandotte County.

✍️: Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly on Monday afternoon signed a bill that will allow Kansas students in 2024 to enroll in any public school in the state, as long as the school has space.

HERE’S WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

As a freshman at Kearney High School, a Black male student was told by a white female classmate that she would have “all the whites in Kearney beat your ass.” When a teacher overheard the conversation, the Black student was sent to the principal’s office.

There, the principal told him to ignore the white student’s conduct because she was poorer than he was, according to a lawsuit filed against the district in Clay County Circuit Court this month.

It was only one in a series of incidents where the student was racially targeted and harassed while enrolled in the school, The Star’s Sarah Reports.

The student’s family claims administrators were aware of the discrimination and failed to take action to effectively protect the student and “tacitly condoned and tolerated the racial harassment.”

The suit states that the student was regularly subjected to white classmates hurling racial slurs at him, making monkey sounds and sending him threatening messages, including those suggestive of lynching.

Unable to take the continual harassment, the family moved the student out of the school. The student is only referred to by his initials in court documents because he is a minor.

‘THIS IS GOVERNMENT ACTION TARGETING OTHER KANSANS’

The Kansas Supreme Court had sharp questions on Monday for both sides in a historic fight over whether the state constitution prohibits gerrymandering that will decide the future of the Kansas City-area congressional district held by Democrat Sharice Davids, The Star’s Katie Bernard and Jonathan Shorman report.

The justices have never before ruled on a challenge to a congressional map, but a group of voters alleges Republican-drawn district boundaries passed earlier this year dilute the power of minority voters and violate guarantees of free speech, equal protection and the right to vote in the state constitution.

During arguments, the justices appeared to search for a standard to use to evaluate whether the map is unconstitutional. The state constitution doesn’t include any specific provisions about the once-a-decade redrawing of congressional districts following the U.S. Census.

A majority of the seven-member Kansas Supreme Court was appointed by Democratic governors. Of the justices who spoke, Caleb Stegall, appointed by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback, appeared the most skeptical of ruling against the map, while Dan Biles, who was appointed by Democratic Gov. Kathleeen Sebelius, appeared ready to rule against it.

The others gave less indication of which way they’re leaning.

About eslkevin

I am a peace educator who has taken time to teach and work in countries such as the USA, Germany, Japan, Nicaragua, Mexico, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman over the past 4 decades.
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