In the southern Wisconsin city of Baraboo, a 30-page complaint was filed in federal court by a Black teen named Dasia Banks. She said she’s been facing bullying since the first grade. But now that she’s in high school, not only is she speaking up, she’s taking it a step further: she’s suing the school district.
The lawsuit comes in response to what the Daily Beast reports as a list of incidents “including students wearing Confederate flags and using the n-word, shoving Dasia in the hallway, throwing things at her, leaving threatening notes in her locker, and repeated sexual abuse.”
What Dasia experienced is certainly not a learning environment. While Dasia and her mother repeatedly confronted administrators about the situation, their concerns were not responded to with action. The racialized bullying only continued until it became a legal matter.
Dasia isn’t alone. Her mother was a former employee of the school herself and has come forward about being subject to racial abuse in her time as an employee. She resigned from her job after growing tired of the failure to address the problems with racism.
The gravity of what it means to be a Black student means overcoming enough institutional barriers as it is without having to do so in an increasingly hostile environment. For students like Dasia, taking action is very brave. We still hope one day it’s not necessary.