A mother from Missouri is bringing the story of her son’s suspension to the media since the teenager’s school doesn’t seem to be listening.
Margo Boyd’s son Kanye attends West County Middle School in Leadwood, Missouri with his brother. Since transferring to the school in February, the two have been the targets of bullying, which is reportedly 98 percent white and under one percent African American.
“They were being called racial slurs and it’s been ongoing at the school,” Boyd told 5 On Your Side last week. “Nothing but racial slurs and I take it to the principal each and every time but nothing has been done,”
Apparently, the bullying had gone on for months and in an attempt to help end it, Boyd sent an email to Principal Kevin Coffman. “A boy called Kanye a n****r and all this little boys friends heard it,” Boyd wrote about an incident that occurred earlier in the week. “This stuff needs to be taken seriously! This is something that shouldn’t be allowed at the school. Kanye won’t take this much longer. He will defend himself against this.”
Not taking it much longer is what happened. On the following day, the boy ended up getting physical with an unnamed student after Boyd says she didn’t receive an email back from the principal.
“He followed my son into the bathroom and in the bathroom, it was both of them in there, and he continued to throw racial slurs at my son,” Boyd told the local news station. “My son asked him to please stop steadily calling me the N-word. Stop. The boy refused to stop so my son asked him, ‘Where do you want it in the face or chest?’ The boy said, ‘In my chest,’ so my son punched him one time in the chest.”
Kanye was subsequently suspended while the other boy remains in school. The West County R-IV School District would not comment specifically on the suspension, but did issue a statement, reading in part, “We as a District remain committed to providing an inclusive environment for all students and staff that is free from discrimination, harassment and retaliation in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, its programs, services, activities and facilities.”
An interesting notion seeing how a student was suspended for defending himself against racist harrassment. As for Boyd, she believes the school isn’t doing anything to curtail the racism and bullying.
“I want to know where the name calling and bullying and degrading someone because of their race is acceptable,” she says.
Photo: Tom Sibley