5 Black Students Sue Georgia High School and District for Alleged Racial Discrimination

Five students from Georgia and their mothers have filed a lawsuit against Coosa High School and its district for alleged racial discrimination.

Five students from Georgia and their mothers have filed a lawsuit against Coosa High School and the Floyd County School district for alleged racial discrimination.

CNN reports that the five students, all of whom are Black, have accused the Rome, Georgia school and its district of violating their First Amendment and equal protection rights. “The Plaintiffs, who are African-American, challenge Coosa High's deliberate indifference to acts of racial animosity toward Black students perpetrated by white students and teachers; as well as the school's viewpoint discrimination in its dress code and the inconsistent administration of disciplinary policies to the detriment of Black students," reads the suit.

The students have accused the school administrators of an “egregious pattern of deliberately ignoring Plaintiff's complaints regarding repeated incidents of racial intimidation and bigotry" at Coosa High School. Several alleged moments of racial discrimination are detailed in the suit, including someone re-enacting George Floyd’s death, a student who wore a Confederate flag belt who addressed Black students as “slaves,” and the use of the N-word by various white students. According to the lawsuit, the dress code at the school does not prohibit any Confederate flag-themed clothing, but all Black Lives Matter imagery is banned.

Per Fox 5 Atlanta, the students were suspended after they staged silent protests during class breaks. The individuals were informed by school administrators that they must not wear t-shirts that read “I love the skin I’m in #Melanin,” otherwise they would face suspension. "Whenever I would complain, they would say I try to make everything about race," one student told the local news station.

According to a 2018-2019 Georgia Schools report, the Floyd County School district was 78 percent white and 7 percent Black. "This case is a reminder that we are still fighting in the South over just who and what we are as a region," said the student’s attorney Artur Davis in a statement. "Cases like this are necessary to show how far we still need to go in the South to be one community."

Superintendent Glenn White has denied the allegations and said “Floyd County Schools looks forward to presenting the facts in court."

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