Teen's lawsuit says he was racially bullied at school
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) An African-American teenager sued a school board, saying officials failed to stop the racial bullying he endured from his baseball teammates, including one of them yelling at him to ''run like the KKK is after you.''
In his federal lawsuit against the Robertson County Board of Education, DeAngelo Jones, who is now 18, says the bullying started when he was a freshman at Springfield High School and joined the baseball team.
He said older white teammates repeatedly taunted him and hurled racial epitaphs at him. ''As an example of this racial taunting, one of the white students on the team yelled at (DeAngelo) to `run like the KKK is after you,''' court documents said.
The teen is suing on the grounds that school officials violated federal civil rights laws. He is asking for $300,000.
School district spokesman Jim Bellis said he couldn't comment on pending litigation.
The teen's mother, Conda Polk, sent an email to the baseball coach in October of 2012 about the racial taunting, and later met with school officials in the spring of 2013 when the bullying didn't stop, the suit said.
The teen accuses the school of retaliating against him after his mother complained, saying in the suit that the coach benched him and forced him to run around the baseball field, including running as much as 30 miles during the course of several baseball games.
The mother filed a complaint with the Tennessee Human Rights Commission, the lawsuit says, and an investigation by the state Department of Education found that the school did not provide any indication or documentation that it had conducted a required investigation into the teen's claims of racial discrimination.