Racial Harassment In Schools
We are a multicultural society, and there’s no retreat from that. America constantly changes, and it’s one of her great strengths. In neighborhoods all over the state, students from many different racial, ethnic and national backgrounds connect with one another, become friends and learn together. It’s ironic that almost all bigotry is learned, not inherited. If kids were left alone to react to one another based exclusively on their interests, and how much fun they were to be with, we’d have very little racial, ethnic or national origin bias or bigotry in schools.
Regrettably, adults do damage to their children by teaching them racist feelings, theories and untrue facts and histories, causing the children to become racist in their speech, attitudes and behaviors. Sometimes the kids aren’t even being taught these things at home but by other peers. Wanting to fit in, even though they may not have racist thoughts, the kids will participate in racist conduct against isolated victims who have no natural allies in the school setting.
Sometimes the harassment is overt and sometimes it’s subtle. Cuts against students of a particular race, ethnicity or national origin can create a hostile, intimidating or abusive educational environment. School professionals and school boards that fail to prevent, investigate and deter this type of school harassment are violating the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. The NJLAD has held that racial harassment in schools is as illegal as it is in work settings.
The New Jersey school education rights attorneys at Costello, Mains & Silverman, LLC, are at the very spearhead of protecting students in schools from race-based or racial harassment, and recovering when there is a hostile, intimidating or abusive education environment. We know how to obtain compensatory damages, punitive damages, equitable remedies and attorneys’ fees when your child has suffered this type of conduct.