Student's father, attorney say Metamora school district 'drug feet'

Federal lawsuit against district and school leaders alleges violaiton

METAMORA - The father of a Metamora student suing the school district believes administrators and the school board "drug their feet" in response to a student-made, racially charged video sent to his son last year.

Willie Williams claims school officials did not do their job properly when his son received a video containing racial slurs in it. On February 8, an attorney for the student -- listed as John Doe and 14 year old -- filed a federal lawsuit against Metamora Township High School District and school leaders.

Back in September, a group of students made that video, which went viral, and sent it to Williams' son, who is the only black player on the freshman football team, according to the lawsuit. 

Williams lodged complaints with school leaders and the district held a town hall, but he says enough hasn't been done.

"I think they drug their feet on trying to make things happen and to this day -- there is nothing that is set in stone,"  said Williams.

The suit accuses school board members, the superintendent, principal, assistant principal, and the head football coach of negligence. 

School leaders say they suspended the students, involved in making the video, for two football games. Williams says the district fostered a culture of hate which continues.The student's attorney Nina Gougis cites the district's federal funding as reason to file the lawsuit in federal court.

In the lawsuit it claims the following:

  • "The defendants have repeatedly refused to investigate allegations of bullying and have failed to take appropriate action to deter students from bullying on the basis of race and other legally-protected categories."
  • "The defendants' actions and lack thereof allowed and encouraged a climate to flourish in which students were frequently bullied, harassed and victimized...and in which students were emboldened to retaliate against anyone who reported incidents of racism, bullying and harassment."

The Metamora School District has released this following statement to WMBD:

MTHS takes claims of bullying and discrimination very seriously. MTHS has always and will continue to fully investigate and review any claim of bullying or discrimination, while taking appropriate action to address all such claims. On the advice of our attorney, MTHS is not able to comment on pending litigation except to say that we strongly disagree with the claims in the lawsuit.


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