Los Angeles Times

Family alleges racist abuse at Upland school

- By Summer Lin

A family has filed a legal claim against Upland Unified School District, alleging that their three children were targeted with racist drawings and abuse by other students at their elementary school.

The claim comes a week after a series of racist incidents at Pepper Tree Elementary School sparked outrage from parents.

In the precursor to a lawsuit filed Monday, Rome and Maylana Douglas claim that their three children, who attend the elementary school, “suffered physical and irreparabl­e emotional injuries,” despite administra­tors and officials being notified that the kids were being bullied.

The Douglases’ 12-yearold boys began attending Pepper Tree in August 2016, and their 9-year-old daughter began attending in August 2019.

Upland Unified School District officials declined to comment Tuesday but previously condemned the allegation­s in a YouTube video.

Upland school board President Sherman Garnett acknowledg­ed in the video that “racially insensitiv­e, unacceptab­le incidents” had occurred.

“We deeply regret the hurt this behavior has caused our students, families and our community,” he said. “I want to make it perfectly clear that we have a strict zero-tolerance policy on any type of hate speech, harassment, discrimina­tory practices, behaviors, racial slurs, and any reports of these actions will be investigat­ed thoroughly and immediatel­y.”

The Douglases are seeking damages in excess of $10,000.

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