A New York couple has filed a lawsuit against the city's department of education that alleges their children endured racist abuse from students and administrators at their predominantly white school.
According to the Atlanta Black Star, Amos Winbush III and Tiffany Winbush claim their 5-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter were spat on, physically abused, called racial slurs, and received death threats at Peck Slip School in Manhattan.
In their lawsuit, the Winbushes accuse school officials of fostering a “racially hostile environment" where their children have faced “unimaginable racism."
“Amos and Tiffany Winbush’s children, K.W. and S.J.W., have endured unimaginable racism, physical and emotional trauma, violence, bullying, and other dehumanizing treatment at their New York City public elementary school known as Peck Slip,” the lawsuit states.
In one instance, a white student allegedly told one of their children that “she needed to take a bath, shower and scrub her skin really hard because her skin is brown and that’s dirty."
According to the lawsuit, the couple's daughter has been regularly ridiculed about her hair and appearance. Both of the children have been kicked, and one student has threatened to kill the 5-year-old boy multiple times, per the suit.
The school's principal also scolded the 10-year-old girl for reporting the racist abuse to her parents, according to the suit. One teacher allegedly told the student: “Don’t go home and tell your parents what happens in the classroom because it paints the teachers in a bad light.”
“For years, the Winbushes have begged school administrators to intercede to stop the harassment and abuse their children are suffering, but their cries have consistently fallen on deaf ears," the lawsuit further alleges.
The Winbushes said their daughter needs therapy to cope with the “trauma and psychological injury she has suffered,” while their son needs medical attention due to the “vicious assaults on him at school.”
Their suit names the Board of Education of the City School District of the City of New York, New York City Community School District 2, Peck Slip School Principal Maggie Siena, and assistant principal Casey Corey as defendants. The Winbushes are seeking compensatory and punitive damages and “systematic change.”
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