Iowa parents file lawsuit over disturbing video of white student pretending to execute another student wearing blackface

Iowa parents file lawsuit over disturbing video of white student pretending to execute another student wearing blackface
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How a fight for an elementary school became a catalyst for positive change

Parents of a student in Bettendorf, Iowa, have filed a lawsuit against a school district over a controversial video depicting a white student executing another student wearing blackface.

The lawsuit filed against the Pleasant Valley School District by Cartee Law Firm, PC, of Davenport, Iowa, stems from a two-year-old TikTok video, according to Our Quad Cities. The Bettendorf family alleges that the Pleasant Valley School District took no action to address their concerns and complaint about the video.

The suit, which was filed in Scott County on Jan. 18, 2022, includes the names of multiple individuals who work in leadership for the school school district and board of education. Superintendent Brian Strusz and High School Principal Darren Erickson have been named as defendants. The plaintiffs listed in the suit are Louis Brown and Monisa Holton-Brown, the parent of a Black student at Pleasant Valley.

The parents say their student “has been and still is in fear of physical contact which a reasonable person would deem insulting or offensive.”

In the lawsuit, the 38-second video, posted to TikTok in January 2020, is explained in detail. The two white Pleasant Valley featured students in the video were referred to as Student 1 and Student 2.

Per Our Quad Cities:

“'Student 1 and Student 2 were enrolled at Pleasant Valley High School in January 2020 and are still enrolled and attending Pleasant Valley today,' says the suit. 'Student 1 and Student 2 continue to roam the halls of Pleasant Valley High School unchecked.'

"The students 'have continued their bullying behavior at the school,' the suit says. 'The Defendants actions, and/or failure to act; have allowed the bad actors, Student 1 and Student 2, to flaunt their immunity from their actions, causing continued severe emotional distress.'”

On Wednesday, January 26, Strusz addressed the situation in a brief statement to Local 4 News.

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