Feds find racial harassment of Black & Asian American students


Students from the Davis School District visit the 9/11 Memorial in New YorkDavis School District photo

By Louis Chan, AsAmNews National Correspondent

An investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice found a pattern of racial harassment against black and Asian American students in the Davis School District in Farmington, Utah - 20 minutes north of Salt Lake City.

Blacks and Asian American students make up just 1 percent of the student population.

Investigators found white students called Asian American students “yellow” and “squinty" and told them to "go back to China."

In response to complaints, the District told black and Asian American students not be be so sensitive or explained their concerns away by telling the complainants they were “not trying to be racist.”

In October of 2019, a white student dressed as Hitler for Halloween, marched in a parade while performing the Nazi salute while no school staff stopped him.

The Department found “severe, pervasive and objectively offensive race-based harassment” by staff in several District schools and services. Students and parents both reported incidents in which District staff targeted and assaulted students of color and ridiculed students in front of their peers.

Staff has also been accused of endorsing pejorative and harmful stereotypes of people of color in class. Those who reported harassment faced retaliation, the report found.

The bulk of the report dealt with harassment of black students who were called the “N” word, heard derogatory racial comments and faced physical assaults.

The investigation also found black students were subjected to harsher punishment than whites.

The settlement calls for the Davis School District to create a new department to handle complaints of racial discrimination, train staff on how to handle complaints and, among other things, create a centralized reporting system to track and manage complaints.

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