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Family files federal lawsuit against Metamora School District

METAMORA, Ill. - A local family is taking action against Metamora School District, claiming school officials did not do their job properly when a student received a video containing racial slurs in it.

Back in September, a group of students made that video, which went viral, and sent it to a black freshman football player.;

His family lodged complaints and the district held a town hall, but they say it wasn't enough. The family decided to now file a lawsuit in federal court.

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. But the family says the district fostered a culture of hate which continues.

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."

"To have this go on, and try to address this with school officials, there has to be the feeling that really school officials have really dropped the ball on this," says Attorney Nina Gougis. "They have really breached their trust so it's extremely disappointing."

The Metamora School District 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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