Birmingham parents demand answers about racist incidents in school district

Posted at 5:44 PM, May 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-31 08:08:00-04

The allegations are alarming; parents in the Birmingham School District are raising concerns about what they call blatant racism targeted at their kids.

They say they’re fed up and they want answers. Parents and students are demanding the district to take action.

One of the parents say she’s made the school aware of what’s happening, but so far no response.

That’s why she says she reached out to 7 Action News to help get some answers.

Maia Nelson says she’s emotionally drained from hearing about racist remarks directed at her young daughter and other African American students in the Birmingham school district.

“They’re saying the N word directly to me, posting online KKK with a bag over there head,” she says.

Twelve-year-old Morgan Hough says she’s been dealing with blatant racism at Berkshire Elementary for the past year. It’s gotten so bad there was a time she didn’t want to be black.

Most recently a picture of a white student on Snapchat with a bag over his head and KKK written on it went viral with parents and students at Berkshire Middle School.

Morgan says she thought the boy in the picture was her friend. 

“I saw the photo and they were laughing about it,” she says. “It wasn’t really funny.”

Kennedy Banks, now 13, says she’s also been dealing with racist remarks - and it’s been tearing her apart emotionally.

“No child or parent should ever have to go through this,” she says. “It’s too much and its too much to handle.”

Kennedy says when she confronts other students about making racist comments, they play it off like it’s some kid of joke.

“’It’s okay, just take a joke’ Take a joke, when has my race ever been a joke - you don’t have to be afraid,” she says.

Meanwhile, Morgan’s mother says she wants answers from the school’s principal, something she says the school has yet to address.

“I want something done,” she says. “I want someone to be expelled I want an example made.”

The district has responded by saying:

We just learned about this situation this afternoon from your reporter. The principal and central administrators were not aware of the events until this afternoon and we have begun an immediate investigation. We were very saddened to hear about this incident and want to be clear that this type of behavior, if confirmed through our investigation, is not acceptable. Our district remains very committed to teaching our students about good and just ways to be respectful and caring.

Dr. Daniel Nerad,
BPS Superintendent