Friendswood ISD mom says her son has been receiving racist messages, threats for months
FRIENDSWOOD, Texas - A local mother said her complaints to Friendswood ISD went unheard after her son received racist messages and threats for months.
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Brooke Gary said her 13-year-old son is biracial and has been called egregious names at school by his 7th-grade classmates at Friendswood Junior High.
"I check my son’s phone periodically," said Gary. "It’s really sad. I cried this morning. It’s hurtful."
"They had called him monkey at school and made a remark about black jokes; about being able to jump, shoot and steal with basketball," Gary continued. "They told him to go pick cotton. It was brushed off as kids being kids. They said they don’t have racism or racist kids at their school. It was just bad jokes. It was just distasteful jokes."
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When her initial complaints to the school earlier this year went unheard, Gary said she tried to ignore the racist jokes until she saw the messages had turned violent this past weekend.
"It used the 'N word' like spelled it out with ‘er’ at the end," Gary said. "They told him, ‘We don’t want your drug money.’ They sent an emoji of a black kid, a little black boy, with a gun, the water gun, to the head with police to the side of it. And I was told this morning that that was not an official threat.
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"I'm sorry, but a little gun emoji to a kid's head?" she continued. "I kind of don’t take that lightly."
On Monday, Gary said she filed a formal complaint with Friendswood ISD Police and the NAACP Texas chapter, who spoke with the Superintendent.
"The Superintendent assured me that the school district would do an investigation and handle the issue in a timely manner, reasonable manner, not sweeping this under the rug, not let this go away," said Eugene Howard, Texas NAACP Criminal Justice Committee.
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"Something has to be done," Gary said. "It’s only going to get worse. It’s not going to get better. And my son has to continue going to school with these kids?"
In a statement, a Friendswood ISD spokesperson responded to the allegations saying:
"While I do not have all the information regarding this specific incident, I assure you that our district takes such allegations very seriously, and we maintain a strong stance against bullying and racist remarks.
"Bullying is an issue that affects not only the well-being of the individuals involved but also the overall environment within our schools. We strive to create a safe and inclusive educational setting where every student feels respected and supported. Instances of racist remarks and bullying contradict our values, and we have zero tolerance for such behavior.
"Our primary goal is to ensure the safety and welfare of our students. We will work diligently to gather all the necessary facts, speak to the relevant parties involved, and take appropriate action based on our findings.
"In the meantime, we encourage anyone who witnesses or experiences bullying to report it immediately to school administrators, teachers, or the See Something Say Something System. Our dedicated team is trained to address these matters promptly and confidentially, ensuring that necessary support and interventions are implemented to protect the well-being of our students.
"We remain committed to fostering a culture of empathy, respect, and kindness within Friendswood ISD. We aim to create a positive and nurturing environment for all students through ongoing education, awareness programs, and the involvement of parents and the community.
"Thank you for your understanding and support as we address these serious allegations. We are determined to uphold the highest standards of student well-being and are prepared to take appropriate action to ensure a safe and inclusive educational experience for all."