What is it about Ohio and racist police, court and the prison system? Sure, systemic racism is a part of the American reality. All states have racists cops who racially profile. All have racist judges who give harsher sentences to African American offenders who commit the same crimes as those of other ethnicities who are given lighter sentences. But when it comes to systemic racism – from school to prison – Ohio seems to be “the heart of it all,” as the state’s slogan proclaims.
An Ohio court has upheld a suspension given to a 12-year-old African American student who was accused of “staring” at a Caucasian girl at his school.
The boy said this was nothing other than a “staring contest,” but local, Cincinnati Fox 19 is reporting that the school accuses him of much more serious offenses.
It all started at the private Catholic school, St. Gabriel Consolidated, when school officials accused the unidentified boy of “intimidating” his female classmate.
But the boy says that both he and the girl were laughing the whole time.
The school didn’t think there was anything funny about an African American boy staring at a Caucasian girl.
Court documents claim that the girl “felt fearful,” from the boy staring at her.
The school suspended the boy and made him write an apology letter, saying that he was not going to harm the girl.
Somehow this is real life not the Jim Crow era.
“I never knew she was scared because she was laughing,” the boy wrote. “I understand I done the wrong thing that will never happen again. I will start to think before I do so I am not in this situation.”
The boy’s parents filed suit to have their son’s suspension removed from his school record.
“The perception is he intimidated her,” his mother, Candice Tolbert said. “My son stared at a girl who was engaged in a staring game. She giggled the entire time.”
Tolbert said the girl was involved in serious bullying incidents at their school, and she was never so much as punished.
“The same girl that accused my son of this act of perception of intimidation, aggressively poured milk on someone else’s lunch. When she did that there was no penalties for that. She received nothing for that,” she said.
The family says that they will file an appeal to the court’s decision to allow the suspension to stand.
(Article by M. David and S. Wooten)