Mom: Son victim of racial bullying at Tomball Junior High, invited to 'KKK' birthday party

March 7, 2013 5:08:53 PM PST
The mother of a Tomball Junior High School student says her son is being bullied, and not just by one classmate, but by several of them. She says what they're doing to him is racially motivated.

Tahiyyah Howard says her son Justin, a seventh grader, is the target of repeated, racially charged bullying at Tomball Junior High.

"I'm just, really, you know, sick of it," said Howard. "A girl wrote on the board 'black Justin' and my son was really upset."

The most recent attack was a fake party invitation from two classmates.

"Put it on his desk and said that he was invited to a KKK birthday party with lots of fun and games," Howard said.

Tomball ISD confirmed the student-written letter and responded to our questions through a statement, reading in part, "The behavior of the two students who wrote the note is not acceptable. Both students who left the note were disciplined according to the district's student code of conduct."

Howard told us, "They need to know that there are consequences and not just a day in ISS or one day suspension where they can go home and play video games all day."

While she believes the school hasn't done enough to protect her son, we asked other moms what they think of the note.

"Just them being kids. Just human beings," said Theresa Ellis.

"That's the norm here. We are the minorities and we're treated as the minorities," said Falisha Tanner.

"It's inappropriate. That's not what we've found in the Tomball area traditionally, but there's always people who have inappropriate behavior and inappropriate thoughts," said Penny Dowdy.

Still, Howard has her own opinions and wants other parents to hear it.

"I think the parents should teach their kids that being racist or bullying is not OK, no matter if you're playing around or just being mean. It's just not OK," she said.

Dena Marks with the Anti-Defamation League works to erase racial attacks in schools through a program called "No Place for Hate." She stays busy. In a report released this week, the Southern Poverty Law Center identified more than 1,000 hate groups. Attacking minority groups is at a near-record high.

"Hate is like an illness, like cancer; you have to constantly push back against it otherwise it takes over," Marks said. "It's not the kind of thing that's going to go away easily, but we have to constantly fight it."

The students who were disciplined are apparently back in school. Howard believes the district needs to revisit its policies.
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