Connect with us

Crime & Safety

Plano school officials and police are investigating viral claims of racist bullying and abuse



PLANO, TX – Plano school officials are working with police to investigate claims that a Haggard Middle School student was bullied and abused by classmates.

The mother of a student contacted the school resource officer at Haggard earlier this week, according to Plano police spokesman David Tilley. The officer is now working with a juvenile crimes detective on the case.

Tilley said he could not release more information because the incident remained under investigation. But viral social media posts allege racist and homophobic abuse by Plano classmates of the student, who is Black.

A petition has garnered thousands of signatures as parents call on Plano ISD officials to take action and protect students.

A district spokeswoman said the administration was aware of the bullying allegations and was working with law enforcement to investigate.

“Our district does not tolerate or condone bullying or harassing behavior, and is taking prompt and remedial action to address concerns,” Lesley Range-Stanton wrote in an email.

She said the incident was first reported Tuesday, took place off-campus and wasn’t school-related. The district does not discuss disciplinary actions taken against specific students.

The district released a letter Sunday addressing the incident, stating that it remains dedicated to caring for all students and staff members and that bullying and harassment were prohibited. The letter also stated that the district is continuing to work with parents and local law enforcement to investigate the incident.

“We can assure you that the appropriate measures have been taken to protect the victim and to investigate this matter from the district’s authority,” the letter said.

The Next Generation Action Network circulated videos that it says show the Black student was ”tortured for days and forced to drink his white former teammates’ urine” at a sleepover, during which he was also called slurs and beaten. The group slammed Plano officials, saying they had not taken appropriate action.

“We are calling for a federal investigation into this racially motivated hate crime,” the group said in a news release. It also planned a protest for Friday.

Kim T. Cole, an attorney for the student’s family, said there was more video evidence that she was working to collect.

“In my opinion, not only did they torture this kid, but they filmed it and were proud of it and shared it on multiple social media sites making fun of him,” she said.

Cole said that there had been previous problems on campus and that the mother had tried to bring the bullying to school administrators’ attention before the most recent incident.

The boy’s mother, Cole said, is “horrified” by what the students did to her son and frustrated by district officials’ inaction.

“Her heart is breaking for her child,” Cole said.