Investigations

CA School District Sued For Condoning “Titty-Twisting Tuesdays” and “Slap-Ass Fridays”

The ACLU has filed a federal lawsuit alleging pervasive and systemic racism and sexual harassment in the district.

The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the California Eureka City Schools District in federal court on behalf of four teenagers claiming that black students and females face horrific accounts of racism and sexism on a daily basis from students and staff, Courthouse News reported.

The students claim that the school district is a sexually hostile environment for girls who are subjected to sexual physical abuse during school hours. School officials have been accused of condoning weekly traditions of “Titty-Twisting Tuesdays” and “Slap-Ass Fridays,” where students assault others by hitting or grabbing their nipples, breasts and buttocks on school grounds as well as verbally harassing girls by calling them “hooker,” “whore” and “slut."

District staff actually witness and sometimes participate in these practices, which the lawsuit claims has perpetuated the racial and sexual hostile environment in the district schools. Students often slap the buttocks of female teachers without the staff taking any steps to curb such behavior. 

There are also allegations of systematic racism. One student alleged that her white teacher proclaimed in front of an entire class that “black people get bored easily” and that a school monitor once told her, “Don’t give me your black attitude,” Times Standardreported. Others reported being called "niggers" by other students.

The complaint alleges that administrators have continually ignored frequent complaints of racial and sexual harassment. Black and Native American students are disproportionately disciplined - suspended at up to five times the rate of their enrollment compared to white people - and pushed out of district schools.

In response, Eureka City Schools’ spokesperson said in a statement that it was not aware of any evidence to support the accusations:

 “We have investigated and will continue to investigate claims of harassment and discrimination that are brought to our attention…As a district we take the allegations seriously, and we are actively investigating the charges to determine the facts. The well being of our students continues to be a top priority for Eureka City Schools,” the statement read.

Still, Jory Steele, ACLU managing attorney says students deserve better protections:

"School officials must be held accountable for failing to uphold their obligation to ensure that all Eureka students are protected from harassment and discrimination," Steele said.

The plaintiffs are seeking compensation for harassment and discrimination including implementation of a monitoring program.

Read more.

 

 

 

Jodie Gummow is a senior fellow and staff writer at AlterNet.

 

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