An Indiana mother says she has pulled her daughter out of a private school in Indianapolis after she allegedly that students were bullying the 15-year-old because she is Black. The pair claim one of the acts of racism was when her daughter was sent a meme of a hand holding a stem of cotton bolls with a caption that said “when you ask a black girl to prom.”
In an interview with WISH TV, the pair talked about the alleged harassment and their decision to transfer Gabby Portis from the International School of Indiana, a $22K-per-year language school.
Portis told the news station, she’s heard the N-word used at the school and the racism she experienced made her look at herself, saying, “I just look in the mirror and be like, ‘I don’t see anything wrong with me.’”
Portis mother Brittany Graves, told the news station that as soon she found out, she quickly went to the school’s administration.
The mother says that the school offered her daughter counseling. Graves declined saying, “My daughter doesn’t need counseling.” Graves claims the school suspended the offending students but when the suspensions ended the bullying intensified. Portis alleged she began receiving text messages that made her concerned for her life.
Once asked if she thinks that her peers would consider themselves racist, Portis said that they would. “They just walk around saying it proudly,” she said.
The high school student claimed an example of how the casual the racism was between students started after one student asked Portis for money. A different student replied, “Why would you ask her for some money? She’s Black. Black people don’t have any money.’”
Now mother pulled Portis out of school, stating that she doesn’t want her child to break down mentally or hurt herself after the racialized bullying. Graves asked the school to allow Gabby to finish out the year through virtual learning until the transfer is official.
The administration refused the request that the model is only used for students that need to be at home for COVID-related reasons.
The head of the school Elizabeth Head released this statement to the news station:
“The International School of Indiana (ISI) is an inclusive, diverse, and respectful community. ISI does not tolerate racial intolerance or other discriminatory conduct and takes reports of such alleged misconduct very seriously.”
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