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Parents of Black student allege racism at Michigan school

November 19, 2021 GMT

The parents of a Black student have filed a $150 million lawsuit against a suburban Detroit school district over allegations of death threats and racial discrimination against their daughter and other Black students.

The federal lawsuit filed Thursday in Detroit by Cedric McCarrall and Carmen Davidson-McCarrall also alleges that officials at Bloomfield Hills High School said a white teacher’s decision to place a noose around the neck of a Black doll and drop it over a railing was a science project.

The Associated Press left voicemails and emails Friday seeking comment from the district superintendent and the high school principal. Both are named as defendants in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, follows a walkout last week by students at the mostly white school north of Detroit protesting its response to racist messages on walls and on social media. As recently as Thursday, someone wrote a slur on a restroom wall, Cedric McCarrall told reporters Friday.

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“You cannot take what has been displayed at that school ... as anything other than death threats, and these are threats to kill and eliminate African Americans,” said Leonard Mungo, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the McCarralls.

The McCarrall’s daughter attended the high school virtually last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but this year is in-person.

“How can you study, how can you take tests, how can you go about your day as a child, as a student when you have someone up there saying they want you dead?” her father said Friday. “When I close my eyes I’m hearing what my parents and what my grandparents went through in the Jim Crow South.”

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Williams reported from West Bloomfield, Michigan.