More Details on Racial Harassment Case in Michigan

More Details on Racial Harassment Case in Michigan April 19, 2015

The Detroit Free Press has more details about the 8th grader from Bloomfield Hills Middle School who was bullied and repeatedly called a nigger on a school bus. The bus trip was to a band event. He’s the only black kid in the band and the only one on the bus. A description of what happened:

“Eight kids from the bus were interviewed,” she said. “The average number of times they heard Phoenix called the n-word was 20. And this is a number the principal gave me.”…

The taunting began during a bus ride to a band festival. Williams, the only black student in his band class, said he sat toward the front when one of the accused students sat behind him and asked what he thought about the n-word.

“He said it out of the blue,” Williams recalled. “I told him I felt uncomfortable and that I didn’t want to have this discussion. I told him to leave me alone but he kept repeating the word over and over.”

Williams said he was surprised that neither of the two adult chaperones heard the name-calling. He said other students heard it and were laughing.

The classmate then grabbed the hat Williams was wearing and threw it toward the back of the bus.

“He told me to get it and used the n-word again,” Williams said. “Nobody helped me, nobody said anything. And I just sat there and I was frustrated and upset and confused… and kind of afraid.”

Williams, who plays the trumpet, said he had been looking forward to the band festival but played poorly that day.

On the way back, it got even worse.

Another classmate joined in on the taunting, and this time it was someone Williams had known since elementary school.

According to Williams, the one classmate told the other he’d give him a piece of candy if he called Williams the n-word. Williams said the student – the one he had known for most of his life – repeated the word several times. He said other kids sitting nearby did nothing but laugh at the situation.

“I just felt betrayed,” Williams said. “And once again, afraid and confused.”

He said he’s positive that if he hadn’t recorded it on his cell phone, no one would have believed him, and I’m sure he’s right. Just a horrible situation and the kids who did it may actually face criminal charges for it. Time will tell.

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