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Lubbock-Cooper responds to racism allegations after parents hire law firm

Lubbock Cooper Laura Bush Middle School.jpg
Laura Bush Middle School's Facebook Page

A Dallas law firm sent the Lubbock-Cooper Independent School District and its Superintendent Keith Bryant a letter two weeks ago on behalf of a group of families who allege Black students at Laura Bush Middle School were targets of racist discrimination and harassment last school year.

Ellwanger Law asked the district to respond by today so they could work together on resolutions before pursuing a civil rights lawsuit. The law firm told Texas Tech Public Media that Lubbock-Cooper replied yesterday and is open to discussions.

Sebastian Van Coevorden, a civil rights lawyer at Ellwanger Law, said the firm hoped the district would respond this way. On advice from legal counsel, Lubbock-Cooper on Tuesday declined Texas Tech Public Media’s request for comment.

Black students at Laura Bush Middle School said their white classmates consistently called them racial slurs, among other attacks that sometimes turned violent. At the end of the last school year, an anonymous Instagram account using the school’s logo posted pictures of Black students along with racist slurs. The account was removed and the district said it was investigating who was behind the page. They believed it was students.

According to the letter Ellwanger Law sent to Lubbock-Cooper, students and parents reported these issues of harassment and discrimination to the school and district administration.

“At this time, our clients have not been made aware of any action by administrators at Laura Bush Middle School to address the harms experienced by their children or any corrective measures to ensure that these incidents do not continue to occur,” reads the Aug. 17 letter.

Lubbock-Cooper has said in previous statements that racism is unacceptable in their district and they are taking actions to prevent it from happening in the future.

The latest demographic data available shows Lubbock-Cooper ISD’s student body is 3% Black, 39% Hispanic and 54% white. Demographics are similar at the campus level.

Have a news tip? Email Sarah Self-Walbrick at saselfwa@ttu.edu. Follow her reporting on Twitter @SarahFromTTUPM.

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Sarah Self-Walbrick is the news director at Texas Tech Public Media, where she leads the news team and focuses on underreported stories in Lubbock. Sarah is a Lubbock native and a three-time graduate of Texas Tech University. She started her career at the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.
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