Police investigating claim that bullies forced Black middle schooler to drink urine
(The Hill) - Texas police are looking into claims of repeated bullying against a Black middle schooler, whose mother says he was physically attacked, called racial slurs and forced to drink urine by classmates.
The boy’s mother, Summer Smith, who goes by Summer Alicia on Facebook, detailed in a post earlier this week that her son, SeMarion, faced numerous instances of being bullied by peers.
Smith said that officials at her son’s school, Haggard Middle School in Plano, a suburb of Dallas, did not take action to address the bullying after it was reported.
"Imagine being a happy kid who loves making people smile and having a good time... Imagine your classmates and football team members turning on you and targeting you," she wrote. "Imagine a group of those same football team members attacking you in the locker-room with a belt... Imagine being hit in the private area and when you tell an adult you are told 'boys will be boys.'"
The mother also wrote that her son had his inhaler taken from him by his coach, was told he should commit suicide, attacked by classmates with BB guns and forced to drink a cup of urine.
Smith then included in the post screenshots showing verbal threats and racial slurs seemingly directed at SeMarion, as well as a video that showed someone appearing to be her son being forced to drink a cup filled with yellow liquid by another boy.
Plano police spokesperson David Tilley told The Dallas Morning News that the mother of a student called the middle school’s resource officer this week, and the officer is now working with a juvenile crimes detective on an investigation into the bullying claims.
Local NBC affiliate station KXAS-TV reported that a small group of SeMarion’s family friends and parents of other students held a gathering outside the middle school Thursday, demanding the local school district take action.
“There has to be more done for these kids to feel represented, for these kids to feel protected and for these parents to feel protected, and that’s not happening,” said Taler Jefferson, a family friend, according to the local news outlet.
The Plano Independent School District said in a public statement responding to the bullying allegations that it was “working with the campus and local law enforcement to actively investigate the matter.”
“Our district does not tolerate or condone bullying or harassing behavior, and is taking prompt and remedial action to address concerns,” the statement added.
The district went on to say, “While we cannot discuss intervention or disciplinary measures as it relates to a specific student or students, our response to any behavioral concern is always in accordance with district policy and the Plano ISD Student Code of Conduct.”
The family’s attorney, Kim Cole, started a GoFundMe page to cover therapy and private schooling expenses for SeMarion, according to the page’s description. The fundraiser had already received more than $30,000 by Saturday, a day after the page launched.
A change.org petition calling on the school district to punish the students allegedly involved in the bullying was also launched this week, and has received more than 103,000 signatures.