Update 2/15/18: A young man posts pictures with weapons and no one takes action? That’s the question America is asking in the wake of the latest school shooting, this time in Florida. But here in Nevada, the “See Something, Say Something” mantra is ringing hollow for one family. Here’s my original post from earlier this month. The Nevada Department of Education has yet to respond.
The parents of two Yerington high school students are turning to federal court, alleging in a discrimination lawsuit that their daughters’ bullies are not only getting away with repeated instances of racist taunting but that local law enforcement is condoning the activity by labeling it free speech.
One of the alleged bullies, a Yerington High student identified in the lawsuit as the son of a Lyon County police deputy, allegedly posted pictures on social media of himself holding weapons. The caption: “The red neck god of all gods… we bout to go (racial slur) huntin.”
The suit says in addition to confronting school officials, the parents of Jayla Tolliver and Taylissa Marriott reported the allegations on a Nevada Department of Education website that promises a school investigation and report will ensue, in accordance with state law. The Reno Gazette-Journal reports the parents have received no report and the results of the investigation were shredded by the Yerington Police Chief, who says he deemed the racist taunts as protected speech under the First Amendment. The Department of Education has not responded to my inquiry regarding follow up protocol.
The suit says “YHS is a hotbed of racist misconduct and threats. The warning signs are obvious; Plaintiffs do not want to wait until gunfire erupts and students are slaughtered before action is taken. This lawsuit is brought because the racial behavior at YHS goes far beyond simple teasing and name-calling and is severe, pervasive, persistent and dangerous. There are students with knives and guns threatening to go “nigger hunting” and a law enforcement community that has empowered them.”
The suit asks the U.S. Justice Department to provide training to Lyon County School Officials. A Reno judge is expected to make an initial ruling next month.
Photo: Provided to Reno Gazette-Journal