Brave 17-Year-Old Girl’s Parents Sues School District After Enduring Racial Slurs And Threats

by Gee NY

A seventeen-year-old Michigan girl, Clara Malick, is bravely speaking out more than two years after her parents filed a federal lawsuit against Croswell-Lexington High School in Croswell, Michigan.

Clara’s parents, Rob and April Malick, lodged the lawsuit following months of relentless taunting and harassment endured by Clara during her time at the school in 2021.

Clara, who is adopted, revealed in an interview with The Detroit News on Jan. 3 that she was repeatedly subjected to racial slurs and threats by her white classmates.

Despite being one of only three Black students in a district of over 2,000 students, Clara faced almost daily taunts, including being called the N-word and enduring threats related to her appearance.

The lawsuit documents instances where white students taunted Clara with racial slurs and threats, such as “Go back to the plantation and pick cotton” and “Your hair looks like s—t.”

The abuse escalated to threats of violence, with one student even stating:

“All the n—s will be shot after school today at 3:00 pm.”

Tragically, the racial abuse did not end there. The lawsuit alleges that faculty members, including a teacher, displayed racist behavior, with one allegedly saying Clara was “playing the race card” and that she “deserved” the harassment. Despite pleas from Clara’s father, Rob, for the school to intervene, the abuse persisted.

The Malick family filed a racial discrimination complaint with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights in November 2021, detailing the hostile environment Clara endured.

The school’s response, including a resolution reaffirming its commitment to anti-discrimination policies, proved ineffective, with another Black student noting that racism persisted from the “same students, same families.”

Despite Clara’s parents filing a police report after a student threatened her with a slingshot and scissors, the bullying continued. Clara was eventually diagnosed with anxiety, depression, and PTSD, leading her parents to take her out of the school permanently in the spring of 2022.

The family filed a lawsuit in May 2022 against the school district, the Croswell-Lexington Board of Education, Principal Kyle Wood, and Superintendent of Schools Dan Gilbertson. The lawsuit alleges the school’s “deliberate indifference to the racial harassment and bullying” caused extreme emotional distress for Clara and her parents.

The court recently heard the defendants’ motion to adjourn the trial, pending a decision on their dispositive motion.

The court granted the motion to adjourn and suspended outstanding deadlines, awaiting further orders.

The Malick family seeks compensatory, economic, and non-economic damages, exemplary damages, punitive damages, and court costs in their quest for justice and accountability.

Clara’s brave stance sheds light on the urgent need for addressing systemic racism within educational institutions.

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