Student Points Prop Gun At Head Of Black Classmate, Parents Say

Going to school

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The parents of two Black students alleged classmates engaged in racist acts against their children, including one incident where a kid allegedly pointed a prop gun at their daughter's head during a school board meeting in Connecticut last week.

Dr. Carol Felder and Richard Anderson told the leaders of Westport Public Schools their daughters had been experiencing racism and harassment on February 15, according to News 12 Connecticut. The married couple claims Staples High School students hurled racial insults at their ninth-grade daughter while she walked across the bridge.

Felder shared printed screenshots of text messages between two classmates targeting the ninth-grader, which mentions the N-word and "monkey." The mother claims another student took a photo of the daughter, sent it to his friends, and wrote, "There's about to be a hate crime."

The parents also alleged their younger daughter, who's a seventh-grade student at Bedford Middle School, suffered the same treatment. According to a report from CT Insider, Felder said a classmate pointed a prop gun at the back of the seventh-grader's head during a play rehearsal. The student holding the fake gun reportedly said, "This is what happens to people your color."

"Can you imagine?" Felder repeated as she spoke about these incidents.

She continued, “Our children have been called monkeys, and worse has happened to them. It is shocking. It’s shocking that Black and brown children cannot attend Westport Public Schools without being harassed by some of their peers."

Other parents spoke up supporting Felder and Anderson, who told the school board the district's policies on racism and bullying aren't enough. They demanded school officials hold these students accountable for their actions through stricter consequences, not just a "slap on the wrist."

Reporters said school board officials broke protocol and apologized to the parents during the meeting. Westport School District Superintendent Dr. Thomas Scarice also released a statement sent to News 12, acknowledging Felder and Anderson's concerns:

"Let me be clear: we do not tolerate racism and other forms of hate in our schools," the statement reads in part. "When we learn that a student has been targeted based on their identity, we first take steps to ensure that the student is safe and supported. Following an investigation, we take swift, decisive action and those responsible are held accountable."

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